Nightcrawler Review (TIFF2014)

Posted 9 years ago by myetvmedia


Dan Gilroy tackles the absurdity of one man’s obsession with success and the media’s obsession with violence in “Nightcrawler (14)”. Known for writing screenplays such as: “Bourne Legacy (12)” and “Real Steal (11)” to name a few, Gilroy turns his latest sites to directing. “Nightcrawler” is an outrageous and compelling story about Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his desire to build his career and legacy, no matter what the cost.

Lou’s distinct gaze and thin frame resembles that of an insomniac. Unemployed and driven, Lou steals construction materials for sale to make a living. Ever the hustler and entrepreneur, Lou sets his sites on videography after witnessing the aftermath of a car crash. He meets Joe Loder (Bill Paxton) a camera operator that roams the night looking to film violence for sale to the news media. These cameramen are known as ‘Nightcrawlers’. ‘If it bleeds it leads’, is common phrase in the film and these technicians are vultures of violence. They consume it with their cameras and sell it to the highest bidder.

Nina (Rene Russo) runs a broadcast station in LA. As Lou develops his skills, she buys his work. Lou begins to see what aspects of the stories yield the best profit, and the events he captures go from bad to worse as Lou sees what will get him to the next level.

Gyllenhaal and Gilroy bring a truly unique character to the screen in Lou. His matter of fact dialogue and meticulous way of speaking make him both interesting and particularyl odd. Gyllenhaal has transformed his body to portray Lou, a very memorable cinematic character. You are compelled to watch his every move, as he films everyone elses.

Although over the top at times this commentary on the media is both fun and disturbing to watch. As a society we are fed visuals and audio of death, fires, crime and all other sorts of terrible scenarios in the news daily. It’s how we’re controlled, kept scared and informed. People make livings doing this and many will do whatever it takes to get to the top. This film is taking a look at capitalistic values and the way greed can change people. Go see what it does to Lou and those he interacts with.

I really enjoyed “Nightcrawler”. Gilroy makes a great debut here.

Chris Murphy

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