What movie was that...?

13 December 2014

Nightcrawler

directed by Dan Gilroy

Jake Gyllenhaal has been acting his face off in recent years, not that he has ever really been off his game. Going back to October Sky and Donnie Darko, Mr G always showed promise, promise that he mostly lived up to throughout his career, but he has been turning out straight up phenomenal performances in his last 3 films (his work in Prisoners is some of the best acting you are likely to see, ever), conveying so much with so very little. Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler is several things, part LA noir, part seedy thrill ride, part (shudder) social commentary, but luckily for Gilroy what his film lacks in total depth it makes up for in fine performances. Between Jacob G, Renee Russo, Bill Paxton, and a wonderfully natural Riz Ahmed, you almost don’t notice the thinness of the plot and the variety of ways in which the film nearly deteriorates into vapors. JG plays Louis Bloom, an unscrupulous go-getter who finds his niche filming sensational video footage for a local news station. Russo excels as the head of the news station and object of Bloom’s intense attention, playing razorish yet damaged with equal parts guts and fragility. I wanted more from this movie, which isn’t to say that it is bad (I thoroughly enjoyed it), but rather that it had the potentially to be a truly inspired work of art. Don’t let that deter you, though, because it’s a hell of a lot of fun. And that scene when Louis, alone in his apartment, turns to no one in response to his television is one of those genuine moments that can define a role and a film. Just wonderful.