What it’s up for: Original Screenplay
What a weird, yet fascinating little film. Weird. Very weird.
Nightcrawler is the term used for freelance videographers who follow police scanners at night, looking for the next breaking stories to sell to the news stations…apparently. Jake Gyllenhaal plays an out-of-work young man in LA who discovers this line of work and begins to make a living off of it. As his career begins to grow, he begins to take more and more risks, creating a dark and twisted story.
This is by far the best character I have ever seen from Jake Gyllenhaal. He is unbelievable in this film. His character, Lou, has some sort of social disorder and from moment to moment, you can’t tell when he’s lying and when he’s being real.
As for the screenplay, it builds and twists and grows into a fascinating, yet awkward, morality tale. The script is one of the most complex scripts I’ve ever witnessed. As a whole, the movie flows somewhat awkwardly. It’s sluggish through the beginning but ramps up fantastically to an explosive third act. Specifically as an original screenplay, it excels. It’s one of the most original story-lines I’ve witnessed in a long time.
A completely unsung hero here is James Newton Howard’s score! I’m a sucker for JNH anyway, but the score really supported and complemented the action going on the film. As standalone musical pieces, they’re beautiful anyway.
This is an amazingly powerful category this year and I think Nightcrawler is the odd man out. There’s no way it’ll win.