Speeding around a sprawling streets and freeways of Los Angeles, Jake Gyllenhaal remarkably plays a climb who increase from other people’s misfortunes in Nightcrawler.
Thirty pounds lighter, all cheekbones and prominent eyes, Gyllenhaal plays one of a year’s many noted characters in this dark, provocative play (*** ½ out four; rated R; opens Friday nationwide).
Gyllenhaal is Lou Bloom, a educated male who brags that he’s “a unequivocally quick learner.” He looks like a dweeb. But underneath his dorky white shirt sleeves and shabby inexpensive jacket, he’s an desirous and sharp predator, partial vampire, partial vulture.
When we initial see him, he’s a lying, sparse criminal. Then, while pushing on a night streets, he happens on a burning automobile crash. He’s instantly, disturbingly drawn to a tellurian wreckage. Watching with unblinking eyes, he absorbs a stage as a news photographer (Bill Paxton) shows adult and papers a carnage. We can see a wheels in Lou’s opportunistic mind turning.
Soon, he pawns a bike he stole on a Venice boardwalk, trade it for a video camera. A contemptible career is born.
A weirdly depraved guy, Lou turns on a mistake caprice in off-putting ways. When interviewing for an delinquent novice to support on his nightly stalking, he spouts banalities like “It’s a excellent event for some propitious someone” in a approach that is both humorous and menacing. He’s a bit like Being There’s Chauncey Gardiner crossed with The Usual Suspects‘ Keyser Soze.
But only as dismaying is Nightcrawler’s complaint of TV news and a ghoulish sensationalism.
Without flinching, Lou videotapes a gruesome accident, afterwards heads for a internal news station. There he grabs a courtesy of a hardened internal news executive (Rene Russo). Nina greedily seizes on a striking footage. Her ratings-driven tenet is elementary and alarming: “I wish something people can’t spin divided from.”
An effective sycophant, Lou ingratiates himself and talks Nina into carrying a drink. Later, he turns scarily manipulative. He is able of being blandly warm nonetheless deeply menacing. It’s a monumental performance.
Jake Gyllenhaal plays a driven male unfortunate for work in ‘Nightcrawler.’ He finds himself operative in a universe of L.A. crime journalism, where a line between right and wrong is mostly blurred.
A moving automobile follow with Lou and his unhappy pouch partner Rick (Riz Ahmed) is riveting. The slippery ways in that Lou manipulates Rick are shockingly reprehensible,
The film explores a constrained common thread that links Lou, Nina and a TV news cycle: sum exploitation.
Lou fast learns what Nina and her hire esteem most. Urban crime is uninteresting to news purveyors. Crimes in good neighborhoods are title worthy. Race and category are essential elements in a formula.
Lou muscles in on maestro “nightcrawlers,” a journalistic homogeneous of ambulance chasers. In trolling for mayhem, he pushes a bounds of probity in hunt of a many pale footage. It’s blood competition and Lou — whose aroused strain we got early glimpses of — takes to this cut-throat subculture easily.
Written and destined by Dan Gilroy, a story is transfixing with a absolute performances, neat visuals and crafty skewering of unworthy TV news. (Shockingly, tangible Los Angeles TV reporters have featured roles, that creates a spectator consternation if they review a script.)
With Lou, in particular, Gilroy has combined a fascinating, formidable and repellant character. Also to Gilroy’s screenwriting credit, even a smallest ancillary purpose is indelibly etched.
Gyllenhaal — whose new roles in End of Watch, Prisoners and Enemy have been superb — continues his considerable streak. This might good be his best-ever performance, in a constrained film that works equally good as a energetic thriller, a psychological study, a grave joke and a withering complaint of contemporary journalism.