Never thought I would give a movie a perfect ten, but I really could not find anything wrong with Nightcrawler. Dan Gilroy directed and wrote the gritty drama that came out in 2014, and stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, and Bill Paxton. Gyllenhaal gives a chilling performance as Louis Bloom, an unemployed eccentric who starts filming crime scenes and hands the footage over to TV news producer Nina (Russo). Bloom finds his calling, even hires an assistant (Riz Ahmed), but soon starts to blur the lines of morality and success which drives him to a dark place. This is one of those films that begs the question: How far are you willing to go?
Nightcrawler is set in present day Los Angeles, but not glamorous L.A. No, more like edgy, maybe even a bit pretentious L.A. It's the perfect setting for characters with only one bottom line: make the news exciting. That's what Russo's character wants, which is why she takes Louis Bloom's bloody capture of a car accident footage to put on TV despite her co-workers' warnings that viewers may be turned off. "Put a disclaimer", is apparently the excuse often used.
Now, you want to like your main characters from beginning to end, right? Well, I liked Louis Bloom at first, but gradually I start to find him kind of creepy. His desire for filming exciting news footage takes him over the edge and crosses the line. Even Nina is not that well liked. I feel bad for her at times because she seems to be taken advantage of by Bloom. But in the end, she is just as cold hearted as well. These are bad people, yet I'm still drawn to them. They're still fascinating to witness on screen. That's the genius behind Gilroy's writing. You want to root for these characters and like them, but you can't because you know what they are doing is so wrong. Fans of Breaking Bad probably have the same feeling for those hate to love characters (or love to hate). His directing is great too, with appealing visuals and suspenseful scenes, especially towards the end. Gilroy even did his own editing. Talk about a guy with many hats to wear.
I'm not surprised Jake Gyllenhaal got nominated for an Oscar with this role-is what I would say if that actually happened. I am stunned this film only got one nomination (best screenplay). It's a well deserved nomination, the writing is fantastic, but still, What. The. Hell, Academy! Gyllenhaal was amazing in this film. It was as if his characters from Zodiac and Donnie Darko got fused together (by the way, if you haven't seen either film I recommend you do). Jake Gyllenhaal seems to be drawn to all the dark stuff. The rest of the cast was great too. Break out star Riz Ahmed shines as the naive homeless assistant to Louis Bloom, Rick, who is probably the only character in the film with a soul.
Other highlights of the film were the music by James Newton Howard and the cinematography by Robert Elswit. This film definitely does not have a fairy tale ending. In fact, the ending is quite uncomfortable and disturbing. However, if you like exciting, dark, twisted stories with great acting, then you can withstand the twisted thrill ride that is Nightcrawler. Got to have an exciting story to report, right news people?