It’s been a long time since I’ve gone to a movie as cold as I did for Nightcrawler. I hadn’t seen a trailer or even had it described to me. I think I’d seen a poster but it wasn’t terribly clear what kind of movie I was getting in to even as the lights went down. What I got was a film that was remarkably gripping and deeply affecting, a portrait of a remarkably disturbing individual, and a scathing indictment of the TV news business.
Jake Gyllenhaal is doing his best work since Brokeback Mountain here and maybe in his entire career. Lou Bloom feels like a sociopath who has read every pop-business book to grace the non-fiction bestseller list in the past ten years. That isn’t close to a good enough description but it’ll have to suffice because the performance really needs to be seen to be believed. He radiates menace while scarcely ever doing anything or raising his voice. He’s a bad feeling given physical form; he’s a demon of mundanity.