Smart, Shocking & Superb
Nightcrawler is the directorial debut from and also written by Oscar-Nominated Dan Gilroy. The thriller stars Oscar-nominee Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners, Donnie Darko), Rene Russo (Outbreak, Ransom) and Riz Ahmed (Four Lions, Ill Manors). The film is about a driven man who is desperate for work who gets into the world of crime journalism in LA. He blurs the line between star and participant to become the star of his own story. Helping him along the way is a TV-news veteran. Can this film crawl into my top of 2014 list even though I'm seeing it 3 months into 2015?
The story for Nightcrawler is so refreshing and original which is probably the biggest reason for why I liked it so much. I also thought the story was clever as you couldn't predict what turns the story would take next. Credit has to go to Dan Gilroy for writing such a brilliant story and directing it so well too. The thing with this film is, it is about a subject that everybody knows goes on - where do you think TV news get their 'exclusive' footage from? This film exposes such a risky and shocking career choice and portrays in a balanced way - both the benefits and problems are shown. The film wasn't scared to take risks itself (like the job it shows) and really portrays the protagonist in such a negative way at times - I like it when films are brave like this. Nightcrawler sends chills up your spine - it is so brutally honest at times that it is uncomfortable to watch (which is a good thing). The story was also really thrilling from start to finish and there wasn't a dull moment. It is also really interesting to see how greedy Gyllenhaal's character gets - the first time he does it, he's excited but he soon takes things to really extreme lengths!
The score was also really different for this type of film but I think it actually worked. It was still effective at creating certain moods and atmospheres which recent films like 'It Follows' haven't been able to do. I hardly ever listen to instrumental movie soundtracks but I think I might with Nightcrawler!
The acting is mind-blowingly fantastic! Jake Gyllenhaal is terrific! He portrays his character so well and puts on a really great performance! I really believe he was snubbed of an Oscar nomination for this role. As one of the only named characters, he holds the film perfectly - I actually don't think that there is any screen time where he isn't on screen! He is just a really diverse actor - from Prisoners to this - it really proves that he has a wide spectrum of roles that he can play. Excellent! Rene Russo and Riz Ahmed are also very good in this film - although Gyllenhaal does steal the show, Russo and Ahmed still do the film justice!
Nightcrawler is stylish, thrilling, clever, amazing, original, refreshing, tense - Nightcrawler is a masterpiece! With fantastic Oscar-worthy acting from Gyllenhall - Nightcrawler portrays the brutal reality of crime journalism and what a risky and disturbing career path it is to take. Nightcrawler is another film that you need to see.