Nightcrawler

LetterboxD review link

I had a lot of fun watching Nightcrawler. Gyllenhaal is definitely at the top of his game here. Even his face is more gaunt, which adds to the overall creepiness of this character. His assistant, played by Riz Ahmed (who was great in Four Lions), was one of my favorite characters as well. Although I could do without Hollywood’s repeated use of Latino/South Asian actors to play the mismatched Latino/South Asian parts.

I sometimes get a little tired of LA as a character in films, because it seems so navel-gazy, but this film used LA properly. Night-time LA has a Michael Mann sort of feel to it and it came out beautifully in this film. And watching Los Angeles Plays Itself last year gave me a new appreciation for why LA has been so important to Hollywood films.

Besides all the juicy character and plot stuff, this movie was a pretty sardonic take on modern ambition and achievement. The things Gyllenhaal and Russo’s characters do, and how little/flimsy push back they get are pretty scathing critiques of success in the modern economy. The film has a lot to say about media consumption, production and I liked that it balanced all that well with a great story and fascinating characters.

I’m not sure this film will stand up to some of the other great 2014 releases, but it’s definitely a strong addition to my growing list of 2014 favorites.