For Reel

Nightcrawler (2014)
November 13, 2014, 3:28 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Dan Gilroy
5 Stars
NightcrawlerThe opening scene of Nightcrawler seems like a scenario extracted from this year’s Under the Skin. A gaunt, mysterious prowler is caught stealing fence by a security guard. Realizing that the security guard doesn’t pose a serious threat, the thief knocks him out and steals his watch. Much of what follows participates in this game of predation–Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a cynical opportunist, a man who readily admits that he doesn’t particularly care for people and will do whatever it takes to bend them to his will. If Nightcrawler is not especially original in the sentiment that he’s a distinctly American-bred entrepreneur, it is refreshingly unafraid to find the humor amidst the gloom. Bloom’s emaciated, hollow cheeks are frequently strained in harlequin smiles–the extent of his social ineptitude is either humorous or threatening (and often both) depending on the scene. One feels like they’re watching an alien who has done nothing but read articles on how to nail a job interview since arriving on Earth. It’s a flamboyant performance in a film that has the nerve to match it.