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Movie Reviews NIGHTCRAWLER

NIGHTCRAWLER

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It was a night in August, 1997 when paparazzi chased Diana, Princess of Wales, into a Paris road tunnel, ultimately filming her car crash and subsequent death. Now, seventeen years later, it appears audiences are finally ready for the likes of NIGHTCRAWLER (2014) starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, and Bill Paxton as it bravely explores the life of a budding crime journalist, another sordid branch of the paparazzi. Although this movie has absolutely nothing to do with Diana’s accident and takes place in the present day—I couldn’t help but make the distasteful connection.

Louis Bloom is a desperate man in search of work—anything to pay the bills. When he stumbles on a L.A. crime journalist filming a car crash, an idea suddenly takes hold. He too can swim in this very small pond, competing with the other sharks as they all clamour to sell their sound bites to Nina, a television news veteran paying cash for the goriest footage straight from the city’s white collar neighborhoods. Within a few weeks, Bloom forgets his place as an observer, ultimately jumping right into the scene of the crimes to capture the best footage possible, unconcerned with protocol, or the forensic rules of evidence gathering.

Ambulance chasing has never been explored in such depth, and although anyone can dig up an old police scanner, very few of us would ever fathom rushing out to the scene. Rene Russo, wife of the director, is the perfect fit for the part of the news reporter. Hardened, yet beautiful, we have no trouble envisioning her as a veteran of the business who’s lost her moral compass. Jake Gyllenhaal’s devolution into darkness is both disturbing and captivating, an award winning performance. Directed by Dan Gilroy, Rated-R, Crime, Drama, Thriller. ***3 stars out of 5.

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Reviewed by Lynne Martin November 18, 2014
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