An ambitious man finds a niche in the world of freelance crime videographer.
Nightcrawler is about a man called Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) who isn’t quite sure what he wants to do with his life, so he ends up selling videos of horrific accidents, shootings and murders to a news network to get ahead.
It’s not heavy on plot but first time director Dan Gilroy (the writer of The Bourne Legacy and Real Steel) delivers a film that manages to be punchy, grim and even surprisingly funny.
His main advantage in the endeavor is Gyllenhaal who gives the performance of his life as Bloom. He’s the kind of person who drained of flesh by his over activity, constantly in motion and eager to get a leg up anyway he can.
He’s a man of ticks, the sort who would hold a handshake for a second too long, who makes eye contact too often and stands just a little bit too close. And all the while he’s talking, talking, talking – an endless cavalcade of bullshit and double talk designed to convince you of his eagerness, his earnestness. He’s basically a massive creep.
But the actor plays it wonderfully, fawning over his co-stars like Rene Russo and eliciting just as many laughs from the audience as groans of familiarity or despair. The film never quite matches the verve of that performance but there’s much to like in its tonal shifts
While watching Nightcrawler, I couldn’t help but wish it had come to David Cronenberg in the mid 90s, where it would have retained the scathing media satire and added an extra edge of muggy horror, a near pornographic lingering on the carnage which goes before Bloom’s camera. But Gilroy does a decent job and its worth checking out just to see Gyllenhaal giving his all.