A blistering, hypnotic and deliciously perverse roller coaster ride with a career best turn from Gyllenhaal. Destined for cult status.
Now here’s a scorcher! I’m going to do my level best not to reveal any of the plot details because Nightcrawler is best enjoyed going in as blindly as you can. I was so taken aback by how immersed I was in Dan Gilroy’s delightfully amoral excursion into the perversity of modern news that I was giddy when it finished.
Taken as a purely visceral experience, Nightcrawler works as an intense and challenging thriller but there is so much more to explore and appreciate. This films biting commentary on modern media is matched by its acute attention to detail when it comes to studying its characters. Enter Jake Gyllenhaal whose performance as the central Lou Bloom is, by far, his best ever work in front of the lens. He’s emaciated himself and completely delved into the socio-pathology of Bloom that you just can’t take your eyes off him. Coming off the back of a string of recent films that have pushed the actor (Prisoners, Enemy, End Of Watch, Source Code), Gyllenhaal has hit a home run here.
Ably supported by an on-fire Rene Russo, in a massive return to form, as a news director of a flailing TV network and a fellow ‘nightcrawler’ Bill Paxton, Gilroy happily pushes the screenplay to question what’s more important – the story or the lives involved? It’s an uncomfortably wild ride he takes you on with The LA backdrop serving as its own character in the film. The city looks bleak and desolate during the day, but by night when the bright lights shine – she’s a creature all her own.
The film is handsomely shot, frequent kept tight and frenetically edited. There’s an urgency here, a sense of being time poor throughout the runtime and, as the morality begins to give way, the intensity sky rockets.
Nightcrawler is a cult film in the making and is a cracking cinematic experience. Run, don’t walk.
NIGHTCRAWLER releases on NOVEMBER 27, 2014 in AUSTRALIA through MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT