*The last paragraph expresses short analysis* Originally I thought there was nothing that was going to get in the way of me writing an article for Marvel's recently released Phase 3 slate where I was going to start my zealous campaign for Brie Larson being cast as Captain Marvel. Boy, was I wrong. It was only fitting that the article that took its place is of a film that has the same name as my favorite “Marvel” character. I am almost shaking from excitement off of seeing this phenomenal film. So why the heck is it so freakin' awesome?
First, let's talk about the plot. Our protagonist, a brilliant Jake Gyllenhaal, is a calculated sociopath who may or may not be good guy. That is for you to decide. He is struggling to make money when he stumbles upon the morally ambiguous underworld of nightcrawling, as he finds he can make a quick buck by selling video footage of the aftermath of crimes in the area to news' networks. Things begin to become even more of an ethical debacle as our 'protagonist' becomes passionate to this new career possibility. This magnetic story is where the entertainment of this thriller rests.
Above the story, it is our lead that makes the film. Jake Gyllenhaal gives the performance of his life. He is almost unrecognizable as he dives so deep into character. His weight loss accentuated his face, allowing him to be so terribly creepy, yet also strangely likeable. Let's not be confused too much though, most of this comes from Gyllenhaal's tour-de-force performance. The subtle quiver of the lip, not overplayed, to the growing energy flowing through his body in an argument or passionate monologue showcase how talented he is.
When it comes to flaws there aren't any. That is why it drives me nuts when critics of the film give nothing but praise for Nightcrawler, saying it is phenomenal in its execution and then give just below the highest score (A-, 3/4, 4/5, etc.) without listing any flaws. Yes, I know film/art is subjective. That being said, If a movie achieves whatever it's striving to go after perfectly with something fundamentally important about the project being completely enthralling / the pinnacle of its form of art - and it is flawless in all other respects, regardless if other aspects of the film could be said to be improved to perfection - then I see no reason why it should not gain the highest rating. Do you?
It is one thing not to like this film. I can understand why some may not like this film for its incredibly dark nature and anti-hollywood conclusions. It is another thing to underplay how perfect this film is for what it is. It is a bleak, morally challenging look into a character so refreshingly different from what we see today. I couldn't ask it to be better in that respect. On top of that, it gives a discussion worthy look at the merits of news and the state of America's job market. The screenplay is compelling and paced within the right time slot, not giving slack where it isn't wanted or needed. The cinematography is self-evidently beautiful and gritty and it plays the exact notes of tension right when it supposed to, on top of an already phenomenal performance from its lead actor. I don't know about you, but that makes for great cinema, regardless of whether it is one's cup of tea or not.
Personal Preference: 5/5
Critical Analysis: 5/5