To be honest I had low expectations for NIGHTCRAWLER going in, mostly because of me not being a very big Jake Gyllenhaal fan. Needless to say I was speechless leaving the theater. Not only does the film have a career defining performance, it is one of the best written, shot, and directed films of 2014.
From the opening shots of nighttime Los Angeles, California I was hooked. This film is beautiful, which is no big surprise seeing that it was shot by Robert Elswit, one of my favorite cinematographers. I love the look of this film! It's beautiful and ugly at the same time. Cinematographer Robert Elswit does a fantastic job complementing the films exploitative 'tabloid' news nature with giving L.A a grimy over-saturated look.
Lou Bloom is a driven young man who may have read one too many 'Self Help' and 'How to Succeed In Business' books. One night his entrepreneurial spirit leads him to the high-speed world of L.A crime journalism. Or 'nightcrawling' as it's called. Freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder, and other mayhem. These siren chasers then sell their footage to local news stations for money. It's a sleazy way to make a living but Lou Bloom is thinking longterm. He eventually wants to run his own video production company. But looking for that big break Lou begins to blur the line between observer and participant.
The film is a satire on modern media, which isn't new. But luckily it tackles the subject matter well, too well you might say. It's sad that we live in a time where satire on modern media isn't so satire anymore. Viewers don't want journalism, these days it's all about tabloid news.
I think I've said enough, talking about the film anymore would be a crime.
It has been nearly 24 hours since I saw the film and I still cannot stop thinking about NIGHTCRAWLER. The film grabbed me from the beginning. I fell in love with each scene wondering what Lou Bloom would do next. Radiating on screen you just know something is behind those eyes that you better not piss off. The movie is satire and darkly funny, but by the films climax I don't think you'll be laughing anymore.
Final thoughts. Go see NIGHTCRAWLER for a career defining performance from Jake Gyllenhaal. Stay for the clever satire and nail-biting tension filled twists and turns.