In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree.
Robert Downey Jr.,
NIGHTCRAWLER is a thriller set in the nocturnal underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, a driven young man desperate for work who discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem, Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of nightcrawling - where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents. Aided by Rene Russo as Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news, Lou blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Written by
Open Road Films
Jake Gyllenhaal's character blinks very rarely. Gyllenhaal has used this method in his work before with his role as title character Donnie Darko (2001) as well as Prisoners. See more »
When Lou and Rick are driving to the structure fire, they pass a series of buildings (most visibly an IHOP with its lights off). After they make a sudden left turn, they pass the same series of buildings again (the IHOP is illuminated this time). See more »
From Welles to De Niro to Hanks to Bale, Hollywood has a history of actors going through extreme body transformations. While Gyllenhaal's intense weight loss will easily fit this trend, to only focus on that part of his commitment to Nightcrawler would be overlooking how impressively gone he is as Louis Bloom, the focus of this intense character study about an overlooked and disturbed individual. It's not a particularly "pleasant" film, and the pacing is far from quick, but the tension between Louis and his world progresses so beautifully as to pin you right to your seat. Nightcrawler is an effectively scary, uncomfortably funny, and stylishly gritty tour de force. The premise, plot and protagonist are truly unique: a sociopath becomes a freelance news-cameraman, stopping at nothing to succeed. Though his arc seems implausible, Gilroy crafts it smoothly, and Gyllenhaal's disturbed perfection make it hard NOT to believe. His unsettling bug-eyed expression and breathtakingly inappropriate smile are magnetic. Much like Scorsese's Rupert Pupkin, Bloom seems to believe he is the star of his own story: delusional, bull-headed, and respectably determined. Luckily, there is more here than just Gyllenhaal; powerful set-pieces resound, and the beautifully cool ambient guitar score is among the best of the year, complimenting Gyllenahaal's uneasy intensity. Even the camera consistently reminds us where Bloom stands in the deeply LA locale. At the heart, it's smartly calling out our propensity for praising characters for their desires, reminding us that compassionless ambition is extremely dangerous. For our fame-starved culture, Nightcrawler is a good message within a great movie with an even greater lead performance. A true don't-miss!
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