Nightcrawler  (2014)    74/100

Rating :   74/100                                                                     117 Min        15

This is a great film driven home relentlessly by a powerful and quite thought provoking central performance from Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s the directorial debut of screenwriter Dan Gilroy (‘The Bourne Legacy‘, ‘Real Steel’ 11), who interestingly enough is the brother of screenwriter Tony Gilroy – most famous for penning the original Bourne films and who also created a very well received thriller with ‘Michael Clayton’ (07) in his own first attempt behind the camera. Gyllenhaal evokes perfectly his utterly determined to be successful ‘nightcrawler’ who starts his own business enterprise filming late night news events worthy of the big networks’ interest, the bloodier the better, and selling the footage to the ever eager outlets. All the while it’s obvious the wheels of his mind are turning as fast as they can, but in their frenetic activity he is completely unaware there is a large central cog entirely missing. A psychopath certainly, and yet a lot of what he does and says has a cold logic to it – there are many morally reprehensible moments but there exists not only an inevitability to them, given the scenarios he creates and which others force him into, but their combination with the sinister and corporate bottom-line world of mass media is completely perfect, opening our eyes just a little more to what we already witness, and are aware of, every day. Arguably good enough to see nominations coming Gyllenhaal’s way and perhaps for Gilroy too. The other main support comes from Rene Russo who is more than up to the challenge, although some of the smaller roles aren’t quite so well executed. For more along a similar vein watch ‘Network’ (76) and ‘Wag the Dog’ (97).

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