Finally saw this film yesterday - I knew it was going to be good, at the very least I knew it was going to be a good performance from Jake Gyllenhaal but little did I realize just how good it was going to be.
There is so much going on with this film. It is almost a commentary on the news itself. Yes, it's about a "creepy" guy who is morally reprehensible at best, a murderer at worst, simply to get the best shot that sells, but it's about the need and desire for salacious footage as well.
Thing is - we always tut tut at that kind of thing but fail to recognize that human beings are designed for this kind of thing. We love a spectacle and we love blood. We used to take the family to public executions as a form of afternoon entertainment. Not only was it a spectacle but of course it reinforced the idea of justice. Brutal, maybe. But justice. Now the news is taking our wish for spectacle and instead infusing us with fear. It's a close dance. But this is nothing new. Gladiator arenas, boxing matches, UFA, watching videos on Live Leak... we're bloodthirsty animals as well as everything else. I'm not saying we should not rise above this. I'm just accepting that as a whole, we generally do not.
Nightcrawler exposes how the news media presses the buttons of this side of humanity. I loved watching it.
Jake Gyllenhaal though - was another thing altogether. His performance was truly masterful and he altered his whole posture, voice and movement to capture Lou on film with precision. In other clumsier hands this could have been overdone and made a caricature, but he handles it deftly and it's sublime to behold. It is really, really wonderful to watch a craftsman exercise his craft. He will only get better as he gets older too. Give him juicy roles, he has the chops.