Nightcrawler

nightcrawler 2

Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal), a driven young man desperate for work, discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. He’s first seen trying to cut through a chain-link fence to steal scrap that he can sell for pocket money.  While driving late at night, he happens upon cameramen filming a car wreck. He asks the lead cameraman (Bill Paxton) what TV station they work for, and learns that they’re freelancers who monitor police radios, chase down wrecks and fires and homicides, and sell their video footage to the highest bidder.  He develops a working relationship with Nina Romina (Rene Russo) , news director for a local LA TV station. As the quality of his video footage improves so does his remuneration and he hires Rick ,young and unemployed to work with him.

Robert Elswit’s cinematography is perfection ,depicting the lure of L.A. afterdark in all of its haves-and-have-nots glory.  “Nightcrawler,” which was written and directed by Dan Gilroy, provides ample cause for alarm. It was shot both digitally and on film, as was Michael Mann’s “Collateral,” another nervous nocturnal thriller, set in the same city. Only difference is that film was an ordinary one while Nightcrawler is nothing less than a classic.  The film is about a private ,ruthless loner who pursues his dream his way , always , and whose path through the world is marked by the bloodstains of the people he’s rolled over. Gilroy, a first-time feature director who has written or cowritten many movies, including “The Bourne Supremacy,” knows what he wants to say, and how to say it.

Then again, this is Jake Gyllenhaal at his absolute best. Louis Bloom lures you in with a soft, socially awkward demeanor that makes him seem like a wounded animal, but his eyes reveal something dark – something unsettling.

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