I’m not sure who Dan Gilroy is, or where he came from, but he wrote and directed the balls out of his first film – Nightcrawler. He made great choices in tone, framing, dialogue, pacing and casting. I can’t wait to see future projects from him. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, and delivers a hypnotizing performance as an unflinching, sociopathic entrepreneur. The movie is gripping from start to finish. But, it’s less of the Fast and the Furious formula of endless action sequences interspersed with sprinklings of oiled up titties, and more of a slow build that grows inside your gut like a frog in a pot of bile being slowly brought to a putrid boil.
The soundtrack is the only thing that stuck out to me as kind of strange and awkward, but maybe that’s why it was appropriate for a movie about a guy who mirrors those same qualities. Nightcrawler relies on only four primary actors. Rene Russo(Nina Romina), Riz Ahmed(Rick), and Bill Paxton(JoeLoder) all firmly compliment Jake’s simultaneous ascent to entrepreneurial success and descent into moral filth. Both paths seem to be directly correlated, and perhaps that is the film’s larger message.
My favorite scene in the movie happens to document the intersection of these two directions quite well. Jake is at dinner with Nina(after strong-arming her into it) where he directly blackmails her into having sex with him. The dialogue for the scene caused a great deal of commotion in the audience at my particular screening. It was fantastic stuff to hear so many people utter “ooohhhh shit!” all at once.
It mildly disturbs me that I’m see a theme developing, wherein I seem to rate movies involving sociopathic lead characters quite highly, but I’ll just pretend those are unrelated phenomenons. I do recommend seeing this gem whenever you get the chance. I’m sure I’ll re-watch it again in a few months and find some new nooks and crannies to enjoy.
Overall Rating – 9.6/10