Sunday, November 9, 2014

Nightcrawler (USA, 2014)

Nine Things About the Movie Nightcrawler 

1. This darkly beautiful film is hard to categorize.

2. It's a character study of an... intense young man.

3. It's also a scathing critique of ratings-hungry news media.

4. And it's a midnight-black satire on the "fight to accomplish your dreams" concept.

5. Jake Gyllenhaal absolutely owns this film as Lou, an intense but aimless man who discovers he can make money by filming crime and accident scenes and then selling the footage to a news station. As the news station demands more graphic footage, Lou decides to step his game up, which leads to unpleasant consequences.

6. Some people are upset with the ending of the movie, but I thought it was well-played and consistent with the rest of the film.

7. The beauty (and terror) of Gyllenhaal's performance is that he never shows exactly what's going on inside Lou's head. Lou is a smooth, awkwardly friendly young man. But every now and then his mask slips, giving us a glimpse of what he's really like. And it's not friendly. Gyllenhaal rides this razor thin line brilliantly.

8.  The cinematography is gorgeous, showing nocturnal Los Angeles in a shiny darkness, reflecting the personality of Lou.

9.  From the unusual opening scene to the unconventional ending, "Nightcrawler" is dark drama with elements of a thriller and a crime film. This one will stay under your skin for awhile.