I’m not the type to ask for a sequel. For me, most films should stand alone and remain alone because elongating these stories tends to beat a dead horse and next thing you know it’s overstayed its welcome. I’m also not one to ever wish that a film were a television series or a mini-series. I don’t watch much television and series can tend to overwhelm me with the necessity to catch every episode each week. All that said, when ‘Nightcrawler’ ended I said a silent prayer that it would continue, that the credits would stop rolling and I would be allowed to spend another hour, two, seven with Lou Bloom.
I’d take a sequel. I’d take a mini-series. Are you listening, HBO? Lou Bloom’s story is not over yet!
The hype surrounding ‘Nightcrawler’ was unreal. Everyone that I knew that saw the film raved it, and they raved, above all other things, Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance. Gyllenhaal is an interesting case for me, because it took me a very long time to warm up to him. I was all in early in his career, really enjoying his performances in things like ‘Donnie Darko’, ‘Moonlight Mile’ and ‘Jarhead’. His Oscar nominated performance in ‘Brokeback Mountain’ has aged far more soulfully than I initially regarded it, and so I’ve settled into really being happy for him and his moment in the spotlight. Sadly, after that Oscar nom, his career kind of tanked. He popped up in such horrible film choices and became nothing but a body to look at. But then he turned in a slow burn of a performance in the otherwise awful ‘Prisoners’, and his career began to take new light. He followed that up with ‘Enemy’, which was outstanding, and then his recent Oscar bid (for which he was shamefully snubbed), ‘Nightcrawler’.
In all honesty, his slate of 2015 films (‘Southpaw’, ‘Everest’ and ‘Demolition’) are three of my most anticipated of the year, and mostly because I can’t wait to see his performance in each.
But ‘Nightcrawler’ is more than Gyllenhaal. This is one of the most absorbing films I’ve seen in years, and it is the only film from last year that I literally prayed would continue. Like, what Dan Gilroy does with this narrative, the way he spins each scene, the way he milks the tension, the way he spirals into Lou’s decent into ambitious madness; all of it is so authentically energetic and brilliantly composed. This is a director with real vision and promise. I see very big things for his future, and I really hope he follows this up with an interesting premise.
I’m serious; ‘Nightcrawler pt. II’!
The basic premise for the film is that of a man desperate for a job who catches onto the idea that TV news programs will spend good money to get on the scene footage of crimes, accidents and the whole gritty truth. So, Bloom gets himself a camera and an assistant and sets off to make his money, becoming a nightcrawler, a man who scours the streets at night looking for tragedy. His drive is palpable, and it pushes him to the limits, and passed them as he starts creating his own rules, getting too close for comfort and even creating his own stories, manipulating things in order to create more tension and get more money. But it’s not all about the money. Bloom is a man who needs to be a part of something, to feel like he’s a necessity, a valuable tool, and so he does everything in his power to be noticed.
At the heard of ‘Nightcrawler’ is a story of a man so desperate to be human that he becomes inhuman.
For me, this is one of the films from 2014 that continues to haunt me. It has become one of the best films of the year, one of the films that I continue to look back on and debate, dissect and ponder. Like I said, I didn’t want this to end, and I would love to take another ride with Bloom, no matter how dark and twisted I know it would be, because Bloom carved out his own story, wrote his own rules and took me on a ride only he could take me on.
A, maybe even an A+. I keep going back and forth on this one. And, while I've yet to see Cooper, I have to say that Gyllenhaal STOMPS OUT the four Lead Actor Oscar nominees that I have seen, like to death, even Keaton, who I really liked. What Gyllenhaal does here is astonishing; simply astonishing.