UK Release: October 31st 2014
Past the oil pumping and billboards, up through the hills and out in the suburbs, you’ll find this years major pop culture character of Lou Bloom, camera in hand filming LA’s dying for profit. Lou is the modern day success story. A TV newsman racing through the night to get the gore first. Come the morning his footage is on breakfast news. Pixelated, occasionally, for decency’s sake.
‘NIGHTCRAWLER’, screenwriter Dan Gilroy’s first film as director, is a scouring satire of the media and the state of the job market. Lou is played with terrifying precision by Jake Gyllenhaal. He’s a product of desperate times: a wild animal with an appetite. And his next meal – a car crash, a stabbing, a shooting – is never far away. There’s no morality in Lou’s world, just what’s to gain and what he needs to do it get it.
Gyllenhaal is a revelation as Lou Bloom, you can tell as a actor that he has more a talent and thrives in playing dark characters. As a character he inspires other in the guru culture we are part including station head Nina (a terrific Rene Russo), who when the station asks about if morally they should be showing this, she protests and sticks out on air against her superiors. The film recalls the best of the 70’s satires in that its political engagement never gets in the way of the ride. It’s disturbing, but funny. Provocative, but cool.
I also like how ‘Nightcrawler’ spices up its own story at the end (more hyper real) to hold it viewers, just like what TV news does. While some might think his pursuing of news is illegal, it is in Britain but not so much in the US. I also like cinematography of the film as well. LA is shot like the TV news set backdrop you see in the film, almost as if it on a VHS camera, giving a idea of the what Lou Bloom seems the city as to him. I also like how it ties voyeurism into the car chases as well, the idea that they places a static camera on the front and side of the vehicle bringing a sense of speed and the cars nearby feel incredibly close. This whole thing reminds me a lot of TMZ as well. Alongside Patrick Bateman and the Driver, Lou Bloom is a new modern pop culture figure.