Jake Gyllenhaal's Leo Bloom in Nightcrawler is as creepy as the movie's title suggests. A bug-eyed loner who preys on the misfortunes of others, Bloom's very language appropriates television-speak with information garnered on the Internet to make him reptilian. Negotiating his way through interactions, he acquires a camera and means to follow disasters, and finds a career as a videographer filming beyond the scope of decency: a man with gaping wounds after a car crash, a family shot in their mansion, their plush white carpets soaked in blood. Racing around in a beautifully shot L.A. in a red car, he doesn't just follow crime scenes, he creates them.
Bloom sells his footage to Nina, a splendid Rene Russo, at a television station. A dinner at which he tries to negotiate intimacy with her is a manipulation based on her needing what he's got for her career. Over tacos, Leo notes her makeup: intensely kohl lined lids heavy with shadow. He doesn't mind older women. In an age when anything can be put out there for public perusal, these two are nicely matched.
At this week's premiere at Stone Rose Lounge, Jake Gyllenhaal said he just followed Dan Gilroy's script and direction keeping his eyes fixed that way. Checking to gauge the blink factor, one could see he had to force his eyes to spook so effectively. Add to that, Donald Mowat's work on makeup, keeping the face a pallid yellow, the eyes red-rimmed. What a perfect movie to open for Halloween!
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