Every Friday Chris hand-selects a streaming recommendation for your weekend.
This Week’s Featured Flick
Nightcrawler on Netflix
A young hustler gets sucked into the sordid but lucrative business of trolling the streets of Los Angeles to film fires, car crashes — and murder.
2014 was a pretty good year for Jake Gyllenhaal playing super creepy dudes. First we got Denis Villeneuve’s jaundiced and bizarre Enemy (currently streaming on Amazon Prime) in which Gyllenhaal played a duo of dissonant doppelgängers, then Dan Gilroy turned him into a 21th century Travis Bickle in Nightcrawler. He plays Louis Bloom, an indomitable, self-educated “entrepreneur” with a knack for capturing disturbing footage of gruesome accidents and disasters. He is perhaps the most artistically applauded over-night freelance photojournalist of all time. Gyllenhaal’s performance has a feral intensity, and the fact that the man hardly every blinks only adds to it.
He his eyes really dominate every frame of this film, and that’s ultimately why I’m recommending it.
The story’s pretty good, but does feel a little dated at times, (this guy’s making it big in local news!) Still, there are textures throughout the film that make me think Gilroy may have been fully aware of this and attempted to use that to his advantage in building the world. Take this still for example:
The set of the news room and the pallet of the backdrop feel gross and old and dated, but feels perfect as a backdrop to the world as Bloom sees it.
Riz Ahmed, Bill Paxton and Gilroy’s wife, Rene Russo, also give great supporting performances, even when asked to do and say some mildly ridiculous things, (If it bleeds it leads!)