One statement that I can make about Nightcrawler is this: I salute Jake Gyllenhaal. He stars in screenwriter Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut alongside Bill Paxton and Riz Ahmad. Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, an ambitious young man who begins shooting footage of crimes and accidents for a newspaper in the Los Angeles area. When I read what genre of film this was, the word thriller came up, but I can say that this is more than a thriller—it is a pulse-pounding masterwork.
In this film, we are immediately drawn to Gyllenhaal’s character and how he goes about his day and how he manages to film such crime scenes. Gyllenhaal’s performance offers thought-provoking and excessive thrills as a dark and somewhat disturbed character, and one can trace his portrayal to Robert DeNiro’s Travis Bickle in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. This was of course during the glory days of De Niro, but it is safe to say that Gyllenhaal is experiencing even more success and acclaim.
Director Dan Gilroy’s depiction of our ugly society delivers more than expected; some scenes in the film are so impeccably directed that it is impossible to tell that this is his first time behind the camera. The film is without plot holes and flawed characters because the screenplay is mastered, and each scene is rich and complete with a plethora of mysterious and detailed shots and sequences.
Nightcrawler has audiences at the edge of their seats every time Gyllenhaal is on screen, and he is genuinely petrifying. The film does not feel fake at all, but very true-to-life, which is helped by a precise depiction of Los Angeles and what really occurs within it. Gilroy masters the depiction of the truth behind the media industry we actually see. This film is shadowy and disturbing, and Gyllenhaal’s general appearance and loss of almost 20 pounds assist to establish the drive and personality of his character. When people see this movie, and I highly encourage them to, they will be gob-smacked by some of the events, and will go on pondering them for a long time.
Visually astounding and genuinely heartfelt, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is one of his finest works and is not to be missed. The story concerns Earth as a planet where food and resources are limited, and human beings must find another planet to inhabit. This is where Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) comes in. He is a father to a 10-year-old named Murph (Mackenzie Foy), and he plays a role as one of the astronauts who must travel in search of a habitable planet for humanity to survive.
This is really a beautiful adventure story, particularly with a performance from McConaughey that so elegantly portrays a father caught in a dilemma, who must overcome all odds. Jessica Chastain and Foy, who play older and younger Murph respectively, make a boundless connection with McConaughey. This connection between father and daughter really motivates this film to essentially be what it is, a story of human survival and sacrifice.
However, at some points, the film does lack the same resonance and emotion as some of the other scenes. An example of this are some scenes of dialogue with Anne Hathaway’s character, and the drama in such scenes falls flat. Nonetheless, the immersive depiction of space and the constant trembling of the audience, due to Nolan’s mastery with the mechanics of the IMAX camera and the intelligent screenplay by Jonathan Nolan, really pushes this film to stand out as an epic scientific film, which draws inspiration from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Some of the themes developed and expressed in the film allow it to be taken more seriously, and not just another Gravity-like movie, but one that is so heartfelt and thought-provoking throughout its entirety, with Kubrick-like shots that indicate its wonderful inspiration.
While the near three-hour runtime is a bit of a push for such a film, this space voyage makes me and some audience members acquire a thirst for more. The stimulating characters, the impeccable special effects crafted in this film, and really, the overall tone and objective of the film, make it a worthwhile experience. The film mixes space, wormholes, human emotion, bizarre scientific theories, and intense musical score by Hans Zimmer, to create one ambitious and exhilarating masterpiece.