did you guys like Nightcrawler? it's on Netflix
- Posted 06/19/2017 05:17 AM - Hide
Sorry, it still stings. There's something you should know me: My second least-favorite film genre is "movies starring Eddie Redmayne." But I'm biased - I think the guy who really deserved the Best Actor hardware wasn't even nominated that year.
I refer to Jake Gyllenhaal, and his performance in Nightcrawler.
If you haven't seen it: Gyllenhaal plays Louis Bloom, a creepy, sociopathic videographer who builds a thriving business in Los Angeles by unscrupulously filming car accidents and murders and, when necessary, sabotaging his competition. The film's view of modern romance is as jaundiced as its perspective on the media - Bloom falls for Nina (Renee Russo), the news director of a low-rated local TV station, and coerces her into sleeping with him. And that's just the first 45 minutes. The second hour of Nightcrawler is when things get really dark.
"Night-crawling" is a term for the stringers who work at night and chase down down gory tragedies reported on the police scanner. But Gyllenhaal plays Louis as a literal worm trapped inside the body of a man - his pointy face; his unblinking eyes; his stringy, slicked-back hair; and that persistent, vacuous smile indicate a life form that is trying to pass as human but getting only 90 percent of the way there. When Louis speaks, he sounds like an alien who learned about people from listening to Tony Robbins audiobooks.
But Gyllenhaal has enough empathy for Bloom to make what should be a thoroughly unlikeable character a smidge sympathetic - at heart Louis is a guy who's been dehumanized by the 21st century's trickle-down economy. When the world dictates that one deserves no better than to live amid dirt and filth, the only choice is to keep on slithering forward, no matter the costs.
On paper, Nightcrawler should've been an awards-show slam-dunk for Gyllenhaal. It's a showy performance, in the best possible sense. In interview after interview, Gyllenhaal spoke about how he lost 30 pounds for the role, and deprived himself of sleep during the shoot. This is Robert De Niro-in-Raging Bull level preparation, or the very least Matthew McConaughey-in-Dallas Buyers Club.