I really dig space exploration movies, and usually when there is alien contact from Mars, the end result isn’t a good one. Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and Rebecca Ferguson (The Girl on the Train) star in the upcoming science fiction film Life, and the trailer and images are available after the jump.
Considering it won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival, Nocturnal Animals should probably on your Oscar watch radar. Headlined by Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams as a divorced couple who gradually uncover dark truths about one another, the film hits select theaters November 18th and goes nationwide December 9th.
Jake Gyllenhaal is a versatile actor who’s traversed many genres, and that diversity continues with Nightcrawler, a perverse and prescient thriller that refuses pump the brakes from the get go.
Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal) is unemployed, and though his sunken cheeked visage gives him a desperate and all too hungry look, our anti-hero is far from weak. Rather, he is laser focused on landing a stable and well paying job. America is the land of opportunity, and Lou believes putting one’s best foot forward, along with an unshakable work ethic, should place him on the right path.
A highway accident during the dead of night sets Lou on his path, as he meets Joe Loder (Bill Paxton), a freelance cameraman who sells violent nighttime footage (car accidents, robberies) to local news stations in need of juicy footage.
Armed with a camera and a police scanner, along with the assistance of a hapless, well meaning drifter (Riz Ahmed), Lou speeds through the Los Angeles streets, ready to document the latest “if it bleeds, it leads” news story.
Rene Russo (The Thomas Crown Affair) gives one of her best performances as Nina Romina, a news director sees potential in Lou and eagerly buys his captured footage. Desperate to keep her job, Nina takes her news coverage to grisly and tabloid driven lengths to increase her struggling station’s ratings.
In the clip below, Rene Russo explains why she didn’t change a word of dialogue for Nina (the movie is penned and directed by Russo’s husband, Dan Gilroy)
Lou’s quick ascent as a videographer may be commendable, but the steps he takes along the way is absolutely horrifying. Whether it’s staging a crime scene, manipulating Nina to suit his own needs, or placing his assistant in harm’s way, Lou’s sociopathic tendencies lead him to a dark, morally corrupt arena.
Gilroy and cinematographer Robert Elswit create a neon tinged, seedy, yet ultimately dreamlike City of Angels, wherein animalistic urges supplant any semblance of decency. Lou is envisioned by Gilroy as a coyote who haunts the local grounds, looking to feed on the available prey. Thanks to losing 20 pounds, Gyllenhaal perfectly captures Lou’s subtle ferocity.
In the following clip, Jake Gyllenhall about an aspect of the media he learned from doing Nightcrawler:
Movie fans may see traces of Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole or Sidney Lumet’s Network in Nightcrawler, and time will tell if the movie reaches their stratospheric heights. Even with these influences, the movie entirely stands on its own, giving viewers a nightmarish look at the insatiable media and mass consumption which creates people like Lou Bloom and Nina Romina.
A thriller which mixes film noir and pulp sensibilities, Nightcrawler thankfully doesn’t revel in the sheer audacity of its narrative. Rather, we are given an even-eyed yet seductive look at a man determined to succeed in the news business. Reporting is a bloody and dirty job and someone’s got to do it. Thankfully Lou, much to the detriment of his colleagues, is more than up to the task.
NIGHTCRAWLER (Open Road Films)
Running Time: 117 minutes.
MPAA rating: R
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Bill Paxton, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed, Kevin Rahm.
Director/Writer: Dan Gilroy
Jake Gyllenhaal delivers one of his best performances as Lou Bloom, a news stringer who will do anything it takes to capture raw and graphic footage in the riveting thriller Nightcrawler.
Bloom, along with a police scanner and an in-over-his-head assistant (Riz Ahmed) scour the Los Angeles streets waiting to capture the latest crime or car accident that occur during the dead of night. Rene Russo is Nina Romina, a desperate news director who loves Bloom’s graphic footage and isn’t afraid of crossing the line to garner great ratings.
Although Lou Bloom is an ambitious, diligent go-getter, some of his actions lead to drastic consequences. Though some viewers may characterize Bloom as sociopathic, Gyllenhaal also explains how this “nightcrawler” is a product of our media frenzied environment:
“We’re the ones who are responsible for giving them the opportunity for people to pay for the stuff that they’re getting. We are the people who create Lou Bloom. We’ve created him. He’s a creation of our culture. That’s how I feel about news now.”
The project also enabled Gyllenhaal to collaborate with his godfather Robert Elswit, a celebrated cinematographer who’s lensed There Will Be Blood, The Master, and Michael Clayton. Elswit paints Los Angeles in a predatory light in Nightcrawler, giving us a City of Angels that’s far from angelic and glamorous.
One of the several elements behind Gyllenhaal’s inspired work lies in the physicality he approached with the role. To achieve Lou Bloom’s hungry and lean look, the actor consistently ran throughout Griffith Park. Click on the media bar to hear the actor talk about losing weight for the role:
Nightcrawler, directed and penned by Dan Gilroy, opens October 31.
In Nightcrawler, Rene Russo is Nina, a news producer at a struggling, Los Angeles station. To bump up the program’s ratings, Nina buys violent footage from cameramen who capture the latest robberies and car accidents that occur within the suburban confines of Southern California.
Jake Gyllenhaal is Lou Bloom, a novice to the news profession who’s armed with a ton of ambition and a video camera at his disposal. Both Nina and Lou are desperate to climb the ranks of the tabloid driven media, even if it means crossing the line.
Although Russo had initial challenges in crafting Nina, she eventually found her footing without changing a word of Dan Gilroy’s dialogue (Gilroy penned and directed the film).
“I finally found a way to bring her to life,” said Russo, whose previous credits include Lethal Weapon 4, The Thomas Crown Affair, Big Trouble, and most recently Thor: The Dark World. “And that is through desperation. I know, for me, if I ever crossed those moral boundaries, it’s usually because I’m scared to death.”
During the Nightcrawler interviews, I asked Rene Russo how she manages to stay “in the moment” as an actress. “Sometimes it is like catching a wave a little bit,” said Russo. “You’ve got to kind of stay in the wave.”
Click on the media bar below to hear Rene Russo talk about the “paintbox of emotions” which has helped her craft:
Nightcrawler opens nationwide October 31.
— Nightcrawler (@SeeNIGHTCRAWLER) October 14, 2014
If you’ve seen Brokeback Mountain, End of Watch or last year’s Prisoners, Jake Gyllenhaal’s acting skills may be something you appreciate. Part of that his skill set, at times, requires a full immersion in the role, and it’s an experience he had shooting his latest film Nightcrawler.
The actor is also on board as a producer in Nightcrawler, the story of Lou Bloom (Gyllenhaal), a hard working opportunist who’s in desperate need of a job. After witnessing a freeway car accident that is taped by freelance camera man (Bill Paxton), he realizes that selling video footage to news stations may signal a new career.
Armed with a police scanner, tons of moxie and sociopathic tendencies, Lou skirts the Los Angeles streets for “if it bleeds, it leads” stories. Even if his methods are unscrupulous and manipulative, Lou understands that juicy news footage can only help his flourishing career.
Gyllenhaal has starred in two visionary takes on a different side of Los Angeles with End of Watch and Nightcrawler, and during a recent interview I asked him which city (New York or Los Angeles), is the best place to nurture one’s acting life.
“What nurtures my acting life is – my life,” said the actor, who grew up in the Los Angeles suburbs Hancock Park. “My life and my family happens to be in New York. A majority of my family is there. That’s my connection to something that feels the most real and grounded – (and) that’s the thing that’s made my work, I think, more interesting to me.”
Click on the media bar to hear Jake Gyllenhaal explain why he really didn’t have much of a life during the production of Nightcrawler:
Co-starring Rene Russo and directed by Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler opens nationwide October 31.