Director: Dan Gilroy
Writer: Dan Gilroy
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, & Riz Ahmed
One-Line Plot Synopsis: Louis Bloom (Gyllenhaal) finds himself immersed in crime journalism on the streets of L.A.
Jake, Jake, Jake...you just keep being so fucking awesome. I'm going to have to make a list of my current 10 favorite actors soon because he's near the top of the list. He has the combination of looks and acting chops to be one of the biggest movie stars in the world but he chooses such interesting and different roles from film to film instead. Maybe it was Prince of Persia that finally made him think that he'd rather be involved with great scripts and projects than to try to cash in on a blockbuster movie but it's made for such an interesting last couple of years for the guy.
I remember reading in a Grantland article where they said that the top actors usually do 1 for the studio, and then 1 for them, but Jake is doing them all for himself. I think that rings true to the roles that he's been choosing the last couple of years. I saw Prisoners and Nightcrawler back-to-back, and he is amazing in both roles. His manic mannerisms as Louis Bloom jump off the screen and have the ability to make you anxious as you're watching it. It's an amazing effect that I believe only a handful of actors have the ability to pull off.
Nightcrawler hinges so much on how well Gyllenhaal, as the lead, can carry the movie. Every single scene has him at the center of it, orchestrating what everyone else on the screen is doing and how they're reacting to every move he makes. It's pretty mesmerising to watch. Gyllenhaal lost 20 pounds for the role (his idea) and the hollowness of his eyes make Bloom look even more deranged. His eyes look like they're popping out of his head. Mix that up with the intensity and frenzy that the character exudes, and he becomes impossible to take your eyes of off.
This was director Dan Gilroy's directorial debut, and what a way to kick off your career as a director. It helps when an actor like Gyllenhaal is all amped up to do a smaller film like thins and that you're married to the Rene Russo (who obviously wants to help you succeed), but he has a real stylization and a good feel for how to stage scenes in a unique and interesting way. His brother, Tony Gilroy, is someone else's work I really enjoy. He's mostly been a writer/producer through the beginning of his career with movies such as the first three Bourne movies, State of Play, and The Cutting Edge (hell fucking yes). Like his brother, he has also recently transitioned to directing with Michael Clayton, Duplicity, and The Bourne Legacy. These two guys have so much experience in all the other facets of movie-making, that it makes sense that they would be able to slide right into the role of a director.
Nightcrawler is an intense movie to watch and makes you question if you should be enjoying Louis Bloom as much as you are. It's just hard not to want to find out what exactly makes that guy tick and its next to impossible not to appreciate how sensational Jake Gyllenhaal is as an actor.
Sidenote: Gyllenhaal memorized the entire movie like a play...if you wanted another reason why kicks ass.