Our pick this week may piss you off if you’re an X-Man fan. No this isn’t a spin-off featuring the little furry, blue shape-shifter, but quite an impressive physical change occurs by this film’s lead, Jake Gyllenhaal.
Brother of The Dark Knight’s most hated character, Jake has spent some time in the shade for his own bad career choices, but Gyllenhaal’s unfortunate video game adaptation has been outdone by his brave roles in well-received films like Zodiac, Prisoners and End of Watch, early word on Nightcrawler is that he’s topped those roles and may be in line for an Best Actor Oscar nomination.
The film overall tells the story of a hard-up nobody named Lou Bloom who gains status and some wealth when he begins to navigate the dark streets of L.A. as a crime photographer, trying his best to beat the competition to crashes, burglaries and murders while selling off his grisly footage to local news outlets.
Not surprisingly, once Lou gets a taste of this life, he starts to swirl in a lifestyle that he can no longer control with evidence appearing not only in his actions, but in his shrinking body and hallow, darkened face.
Gyllenhaal’s tour-de-force performance is getting comparisons to vintage Robert De Niro, and the film — a first-time feature (all of our picks so far have been by first-time directors) by screenwriter Dan Gilroy — has drawn comparisons to De Niro’s classic Taxi Driver with Martin Scorsese along with other pulpy L.A. stories like L.A. Confidential and Drive.
With credits like that, this is one of fall’s must sees for film enthusiasts.
Jake Gyllenhaal Wrecked Himself for Nightcrawler, and Here’s Why (Vulture/NY Magazine)