Tuesday 30 September 2014

Zurich Film Festival - Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler (117 mins)
Director: Dan Gilroy
4 stars

A gaunt, hollow-eyed and haunted Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this blistering drama as Louis Bloom, who drives around by night through the streets of Los Angeles, stealing scrap to get by. Things change for him when he sees a camera crew filming at the scene of an accident and realises there’s money to be made from this racket. So he teaches himself how to be a cameraman and gets a good enough film of a shooting that he manages to sell it to Rene Russo’s TV news producer, whose channel wallows in sleaze and degradation – and the richer and whiter the victim is, the better for her and the more money Bloom can make. As he graduates into increasingly unsavoury methods in order to get the juiciest footage, Nightcrawler develops as a vicious lampooning of the sensationalism of television news, while working just as well as a gripping thriller. Gyllenhaal is superb as the fast-talking, quick-learning Louis, who’s very smart but most probably a psycho himself and his ambitions make for a hugely compelling character, with Bloom standing toe to toe with De Niro’s great sociopaths, Travis Bickle and Rupert Pupkin.

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