Friday, April 24, 2015

Gasping, literally...


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. 

28 comments:

  1. Yes, 1000x yes. I would love to spend more time with Lou. That guy was fascinating. I will never stop being pissed off that Gyllenhaal got snubbed. He gave the best lead actor performance last year, period, IMO. I'm glad this lived up to the hype for you! Great review!

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    1. I know how much you loved this and so I was anticipating it like all year and then BAM...loved this! Gyllenhaal is probably my runner-up this year to Pilon, who is without question my favorite performance of the year. I also really lived Gleeson, but Gyllenhaal is just electric.

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  2. Good review, bud. I'd be down for a sequel too!

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  3. Great review! Man, this film was just soo good. I watched it with my husband and he wasn't nearly as enthused as I was, which I literally cannot understand. How could anyone dislike this movie? Do those people even exist? Agreed, Jake Gyllenhaal was so painfully snubbed, it's pretty sad.

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    1. Yeah, this was intoxicating. I don't see how anyone could really dislike it. Each facet was pretty much top notch, and the richness of character, even the supporting roles, was so sharp.

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  4. This is such a GREAT film and fantastic performance all around! I agree it'd make an intriguing miniseries or series chronicling the life of Lou Bloom, I'd WATCH it!

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  5. So glad you liked it this much! I'm actually about to rewatch it and this is such an absorbing movie indeed - Gyllenhaal I always felt he had potential just from his wonderful work in Brokeback Mountain but for him to be able to give performance this good in a shit like Prisoners was truly an accomplishment.

    I also love that the film so convincingly pairs up older woman with younger man (even if it's the absolutely opposite of my personal preference) and that it gave Russo such a meaty role, she should have been nominated too.

    I love how Gylenhall wasn't required to change appearance for the role but he did that because he FELT it was the right move to portray the character. And the score - a lot of people complain about it but for me Gilroy family member paired with Howard can do no wrong

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    1. Gyllenhaal really went all out for this one, and it shows. I'm really glad he's back on track and moving in the right direction with his career.

      And yes, the way that it filled in both genders, all characters, both sides...it was really well crafted!

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  6. I have heard nothing but praise for this film and another well written critique of the film. Soulfully another film on my must list which I will see in the next couple of weeks and then revisit this post to see if I agree. I think this will be one film that may get higher and higher in ranks while The Theory of Boredom will slide

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    1. I can't wait to see if you join in on the praise!

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  7. I'm pretty sure the only reason I didn't give this movie a perfect rating is because I saw this the same weekend as Birdman. I liked Birdman better. Even so, I've never seen a movie like this one, and Gyllenhaal is the shit in this thing. Talk about a great performance. Fuck Eddie Redmayne and his ginger ass, cheekbone bullshit.

    I need to see this movie again. There is so much good about it. And I can honestly say few movies generated as much tension for me last year. This one barely missed my Top Ten. I went with the even smaller Blue Ruin as my high tension pick.

    Props to your mention of Gyllenhaal's work in Moonlight Mile. That is my favorite movie of the 2000s. It touches my heart AND soul. I am stoked about where Gyllenhaal is going next. Can't wait for Southpaw especially.

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    1. "ginger ass, cheekbone bullshit"

      OMG

      I love you.

      And Moonlight Mile was the first film I saw of his and I was really blown away by the whole thing. Lovely film that more people should see and talk about.

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  8. In the words of Stone Cold Steve Austin...... OH HELL YEAH!!!!! He was fucking great in that film and so evil but man, I couldn't help but kind of root for the guy. Gyllenhaal was robbed of an Oscar nod. Makes me hate Eddie Redmayne more than ever.

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    1. OH HELL YEAH!

      That 'bout sums it up ;-)

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  9. In the commentary, Gilroy says that the final shot of two Video Communications vans going in different streets represents an infection running through the veins of the city. I just LOVE that. I would be very interested to see how this infection and its source (Lou Bloom) spread through the rest of the city and beyond.

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    1. I like that! I didn't know that but now I'm dying to see it all unfold!

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  10. It's a solid first film from Dan Gilroy, no doubt. And Gyllenhaal was insanely good here. I really wish he'd been nominated, but let's hope he gets a second nod for one of his performances this year.

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    1. I can't wait for his films this year. Southpaw actually looks rather incredible. That trailer was cut to perfection.

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    2. Yeah, right now I'd predict a CinSpec nomination or maybe even win for Gyllenhaal in Southpaw. :)

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    3. Either that or Demolition. I'm hoping it's Jake's year :-D

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  11. I didn't love this movie as much as everyone else does, but it was an unforgettable character study. And yes, I would probably be up for a sequel. :-)

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    1. It's haunting...like, it stays with you. I don't think I'll ever forget Lou Bloom.

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  12. I loved this movie, it's in my top 3 of 2014. I think it's both entertaining, well-acted, and has things to say about our society. It's horrible that something so immoral is a paid job. I think you almost have to be a bit mad to do it for a living. Yet if there's money to be earned, then there will always be someone. Whenever I see news footage of crimes/accidents now, I'll probably think of Lou Bloom. Glad you loved the film as well!

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    1. Yeah, I thought a few times while watching this that no sane person, no normal person, could do this for a living...it would eat away at you, destroy you...you kind of need to be soulless.

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  13. I think a miniseries or something would be awesome. Can you imagine what he was like as a child? I was really interested how he stirred the conversation away from where he grew up during that dinner scene.

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    1. That dinner scene was full of so many tidbits that would be so incredible to flesh out.

      I'm serious...we need to start a petition!

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