Director: Dan Gilroy
Writer: Dan Gilroy
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Sharon Tay, Pat Harvey
Studio: Open Road

“Nightcrawler” is a look at young men in the modern era. When we meet Lou Bloom, he’s stealing copper wire to survive. Lou wants to work, but his lack of basic empathy and social connection creates an aura of unease around him. Potential employers are creeped out, but Lou Bloom is a survivor. During the night, he discovers a knack at recording footage of crime scenes and then selling them to the local news. While poaching business away from a fellow nightcrawler (Bill Paxton), Lou gets his first taste of real power in the new economy. Lou gets an employee and then he gets recognition.

Creepy loners working at night are so film friendly. But, Lou is different as he learns to exercise his power at any time. The staging to lighting choices shows Lou become confident in his creepy choices at the best of times. He uses his footage to get name recognition over the air, more money and he even pressures Rene Russo into being romantically interested in him. More than any other film released since “All the President’s Men”, this film is the greatest take down of journalism. In an age where time means nothing and work is everything, Lou Bloom is the ultimate digital native. When you look at the Doxxers and YouTube camera whores that populate the Internet, you should shudder at that horrific reality.

The comparisons to “Taxi Driver” are astounding. Everything from score choices to editing to the fact that this is the best a city has looked at night since “Collateral”. Through all of the broad cinematic touches, you will find that a film about a quiet little worm of a man is quite dramatic. “Nightcrawler” is a big film about small people given their moment to steal focus. Sometimes, it works out and we get real Cinderella Stories about good people. But, this is what happens when bad people get a much larger court to play with humanity. Lou Bloom is and isn’t Travis Bickle. Bickle was sick, but mostly contained to his mind. Lou Bloom’s goals will never end. He wants to be bigger than the news and he’s going to keep getting in your face until it happens.

The more I think about Lou Bloom and the Blooms that I see in my life, I am chilled to the bone. What was once work-related tenacity has given way to a blurring of boundaries. Watching Lou as he slams himself against the thin walls of decency and rebukes any questioning…it’s just stunning. Dan Gilroy is a visionary and should be rewarded for showcasing this kind of personality. A Lou Bloom doesn’t grow into an adult alone. There’s a network of other creeps that foster him.


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