The Nightcrawler

Movie:  The Nightcrawler

Rating:  3 1/2 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:   Louis Bloom (Jake Gylienhaal) is a 30ish guy who is just scamming his way through life, looking for a way to make real money.  He’s uneducated but smart, and unburdened by most concepts of scruples.  He is not adverse to stealing to get by, living in a squalid apartment barely the size of the average living room.  But one night as he’s cruising aimlessly, he happens upon an accident scene, and cameramen are filming it.  And Louis finds out these nightcrawlers sell the video to make decent money out of others misfortune.

A light bulb goes on in Bloom’s mind, and he decides nightcrawling is the ticket to fame and fortune for him.  Basically, nightcrawlers are independent video guys who cruise the streets waiting for any calls that go over the police radio that might be newsworthy, and then the race is on to see who can get there first, film it, and sell it to local news programs.  The Los Angeles news stations do pay for this footage, thus proving the adage, “If it bleeds, it leads”!  Bloom is awkward at first, and bumbles along making mistakes and losing out to competitors such as Joe Leder (Bill Paxton).  But Blook is street smart, sly and gutsy, and starts beating his fellow competitors to the scenes with the help of his hired assistant Rick (Riz Ahmed).  Bloom strikes up an exclusive deal with KWLA News manager Nina Romina (Rene Russo), and somehow night after night tear-asses around Los Angeles to deliver compelling video.

I really didn’t think I would care for this movie having seen the trailer, but it turned out to be a rather compelling story.  It is dark and a pretty bleak picture of the news world, but a good film nevertheless.  Good to see Rene Russo again; she is a welcome addition to the movie as a woman fighting for ratings and to hold onto her job.

Actor To Watch:  Jake Gylienhaal turns in another solid performance.  He is an actor not afraid to take risks.  His Louis Bloom character is not evil; he is just totally amoral.

Dialogue Nuggets:      Nina:  “I want something people can’t turn away from.”

Bloom:  “I want to be the guy that owns the station that owns the camera.”

Nina:  “Think of our newscast as a screaming woman running down the street with her throat cut.”

“On TV it looks so real.”

Detective:  “You filmed him dying.”   Bloom:  “That’s my job.”

 

 

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