In a Nutshell - A slow burning dark descent into the mind of a desperate man.
Film Grade - A-
Nightcrawler, directed by Dan Gilroy, stars Jake Gylenhaal as Lou Bloom, a man with strong drive and determination, but has been dealt a bad hand. When fate finds Lou driving past a car accident, he discovers the world of crime journalism. What follows is a dark and intriguing story as one man does whatever it takes to succeed.
Jake lost 20lbs for this film, because he wanted to show Lou to be “a hungry coyote” and it’s an effect that works smoothly. You can feel how much Lou want’s to climb up the ladder and make it. The character is smart, and you can see when he looks at people, he is calculating how they fit into his life and how useful they are. He truly measures people by their worth, to him.
Jake is not the only good act in this. Riz Ahmed as Jake’s “trusty side kick” Rick, does a great job in depicting someone who is also desperate to make it, but doest have the same level of intelligence and hunger as Lou. You can see he is consistently torn between being freaked out by, and enjoying the job he does. The chemistry between the two characters also work well and works as a stark reminder for anyone who has worked for a man like Lou Bloom, who lives their life like they are constantly making a sale.
Nina Romina, Played by Rene Russo is also a great character, she starts as a strong woman, who has pretty much seen it all and is phased by little, and again just as hungry as Lou, that is until she meets Lou.
What I really like about this film is that when you break it all down, all the characters in this film are “hungry” they all want to make it in some shape or form just a bit more than the average Joe. The other cameramen Lou encounters (particularly Joe Loder, played by Bill Paxton), Rick is a down and out guy looking for a way into success, Nina is a News editor on a low rated News channel trying to make it through, and Lou is on top of the pile with his intelligence and drive. Dan Gilroy does a fantastic job in tying the characters together and showing how their relationships are what bring everything together.
All in all, Nightcrawler is a great film, it’s pretty slow moving but the build up is great and there is plenty of comedy peppered in to make the ride smoother. All the characters are great and Jake does an amazing job as the effective and greedy Lou Bloom.