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NIGHTCRAWLER is a thriller set in the nocturnal underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, a driven young man desperate for work who discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem, Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of nightcrawling - where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents. Aided by Rene Russo as Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news, Lou blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Written by
Open Road Films
Nightcrawler from the very beginning is not a traditional Hollywood film. It certainly does not follow the narrative of one and even though it has the three-act structure we are all familiar with, it spins them around. This is particularly evident in the third act, incredibly suspenseful with a brilliant, almost anti-climax. Suspense is the main key to this film's success, it build and builds to the point where the last twenty minutes of the film are completely unpredictable. Dan Gilroy in his directorial debut here has shown a real understanding of how to keep an audience engaged and following a character who isn't an easy man to spend a great deal of time with. Gilroy's screenplay is fast paced and one of the finest this year. The script focuses the audience on the characters, Louis Bloom particularly yet the supporting characters are just as impressive by Bill Paxton and Rene Russo alike. It doesn't follow the rules of a typical script, we are introduced instantly to a criminal and this man is supposed to be our protagonist. Yet what becomes clear is that there is not a protagonist in Nightcrawler, Jake Gyllenhaal's Louis Bloom is the antagonist. He can be described as nothing less than a psychopath and his portrayal by Gyllenhaal is one of his greatest performances. He is very gaunt here, losing a lot of weight for the role, however that is not the main reason for his impressive performance. Gyllenhaal is an actor who continues to impress me; his work in Enemy from earlier this year was just as brilliant. He has chosen excellent roles in films such as Zodiac, Prisoners and End of Watch. The cinematography is also fantastic, night-time LA has not looked this good since 2011's Drive. All these elements come together to make a captivating piece of filmmaking, a film I expect will be discussed more as time goes on.
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