Nov 27, 2014

In the world of LA crime journalism, “if it bleeds, it leads”.

Uneducated and unemployed Louis (Lou) Bloom is making a meagre living pawning stolen items when he happens upon the scene of a car accident.

As police work to free the trapped individual freelance camera men (known as ‘stringers’) circle like vultures, competing to capture the kind of ‘newsworthy’ footage television stations will pay big money to air.

Inspired by the lucrative potential of LA’s crime riddled streets Lou purchases an old camera and is soon embroiled in the dark, morally ambiguous world of freelance crime reporting.

After selling his first piece of footage to veteran journalist Nina (Rene Russo) the two forge an unhealthy partnership and Nina, in a desperate attempt to improve her falling ratings, encourages Lou to seek out bloodier, more violent footage for her news team.

As their partnership develops Lou resorts to increasingly dangerous, often illegal methods to capture exclusive footage and soon the line between observer and participant becomes blurred.

How far will Lou go to capture the perfect shot? And who is he willing to sacrifice on his way to the top?

Written and directed by Dan Gilroy Nightcrawler is a dark film which does little to promote journalistic integrity; but it does call into question society’s inexplicable (and often contradictory) thirst for violence.

Jake Gyllenhaal is disturbing as sociopath Lou Bloom, a manipulative man with anti-social tendencies and questionable morals. Lou is the kind of man that would make your skin crawl if you met him in person and Gyllenhaal’s ability to remain completely emotionless even as his character threatens, manipulates and lies his way through the film is impressive.

InDaily in your inbox. The best local news every workday at lunch time.
By signing up, you agree to our User Agreement andPrivacy Policy & Cookie Statement. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Russo delivers a noteworthy performance as Nina and her unhealthy obsession with ratings causes her to push the boundaries of acceptable journalism.

With two equally obsessive personalities it doesn’t take long for the relationship between the films leading characters to turn toxic and Nina soon finds herself on a collision course with the terrifyingly unpredictable Louis.

Real life American anchor-man Kent Shocknek adds a touch of authenticity to the film while Bill Paxton stars as fellow stringer Joe Lader. Riz Ahmed delivers a heartfelt performance as Lou’s kind hearted and naïve assistant Rick.

Nightcrawler is definitely not easy viewing but it raises some interesting questions about morality and human nature.

It is disturbing to watch the stringers treat newsgathering as little more than a competitive blood sport and Gilroy expertly builds tension, holding little back in an attempt to create realistic accident/crime scenes.

Not for the faint hearted Nightcrawler is sure to challenge audience’s opinions of common decency.


Local News Matters
Copyright © 2024 InDaily.
All rights reserved.