Andrew J. Austin

Brief Thoughts on Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler is easily one of my favorite films of 2014. Dan Gilroy’s debut feature is brimming with style without ever pushing over into glossy or pulpy territory. Everything happens with economy, everything pushes the story forward, everything advances elegantly.

Nightcrawler, 2014

I have not really formulated a coherent essay on it, but I do have some notes that were jotted down since seeing the film:

  1. There are lots of comparisons going around between Gone Girl and Nightcrawler — while I get why, I think the two are very different approaches. The first pushes an “are you not entertained” look at pop-media, whereas the latter does not even wink — something like Network meets There Will Be Blood.

  2. Interestingly the two films have very similar opening credits — both Gone Girl and Nightcrawler open with stagnant shots of the town’s central to their narrative. Gone Girl stands out a bit more for the clever use of tempo.

  3. Lou Bloom is one of my very favorite sociopaths — joining the ranks alongside Don Draper1 and Daniel Plainview. One aspect of Bloom that I loved was seeing some trepidation subtly manifesting itself on his face. I think a large majority of sociopaths have deep fears or cowardly instincts that drive their behavior and you can really see that in Gyllenhaal’s incredible performance.2
  1. I have never seen a good essay on Draper’s sociopathy, though he clearly embodies so many of these characteristics.
  2. Between Nightcrawler, Prisoners, and Enemy — he is batting a thousand