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NIGHTCRAWLER (review)

nightcrawler_ver4NIGHTCRAWLER
Written and Directed by Dan Gilroy
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo and Bill Paxton
 

Lou Bloom: What if my problem isn’t that I don’t understand people but that I don’t like them?

When you first meet Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal, looking very gaunt), you won’t think him to be a very bright man. He has just sold stolen goods to a construction site foreman and when he’s done collecting his fee, he asks the man for a job, going into a pitch he has obviously practiced in a mirror. By the time you’re done watching his progression from small time thief to full fledged sociopath in Dan Gilroy’s stunning debut though, NIGHTCRAWLER, you might be wondering how you had missed his genius to begin with.

Lou doesn’t steal because he wants to; he does so because he isn’t trained to do anything else and needs to make a living. He is looking for where he fits in and where he can grow. His earnestness is admirable but his approach is uneasy to say the least. Along his search, he comes upon a video crew that arrive on the set of a traffic accident to shoot the scene and sell it to the top bidding local morning news program. After stealing a bike and pawning it a for a camera, Lou gets in the game. And it turns out, he’s a natural for the business. To be a natural at this though means that Lou has no sense of boundaries, getting right in the faces of the various accident and violence victims he tapes. By the time he moves a victim’s body to get a better composed shot that will sell for more, you know that he has just the right amount of detachment from humanity to make a career out of this.

jake-gyllenhaal-nightcrawler

Along the way, Lou makes nice with a news producer (played by Rene Russo, looking appropriately ragged considering her role). To see the delight in their eyes and the subtle shifts in their grins as they pursue the most bloody, most disturbing footage they can find in hopes of trumping all the other morning shows and winning the almighty ratings battle, makes NIGHTCRAWLER easily one of the most disturbing experiences I’ve had watching a film this year. Gilroy and Gyllenhaal are gory together but also glorious.

4.5 sheep

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