Monday, January 12, 2015

Scene in '15: Nightcrawler

I'm rolling out another 2015 challenge today! I'm going to review every film I see in the theater this year. I go to the movies a lot (seriously. a lot.) so this should be a cool way to keep track of exactly how many movies I see. I'm calling the series "Scene in '15."

Let's get started with the first film of 2015, Nightcrawler! Quick synopsis: Jake Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, a guy who falls into the world of freelance film crews that catch gorey nighttime stories to sell to the morning news stations.  I didn't love it. The first thing I wrote in my notebook is "Who is Lou Bloom?" There isn't a lot of character development; Lou displays a psychopathic lack of empathy and there's an obvious tension in his demeanor that had me waiting for a dramatic outburst that never really happens. Nightcrawler drew a lot of parallels to Drive for me, as much for the lack of background on the main character as for the LA setting. It works in Drive, mainly I think because there is that dramatic climax that gives the audience just enough insight into the Kid's character to piece together the rest. The climax in Nightcrawler took too much of the responsibility off of Lou. Also, what we do see of his personality is incredible (albeit creepy) ambition, which didn't add up with his unemployment at the beginning of the film. 

The storyline just didn't come together for me, but Gyllenhaal's performance is great. The film is worth seeing just for the incredible way he conveys the tension in Lou with body language alone. 

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