This film, written and directed by Dan Gilroy, is anchored by an Academy Award Worthy (AAW) performance from Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s an interesting in-depth character study. The cinematography (Robert Elswit) captures the LA nightlife well and gives the movie a gritty vibe.
Lou (Jake G.) is an ambitious young man without much of an education. Nevertheless, he is intelligent and, being an avid reader, has learned a few things about running a business. He is managing to survive by stealing items and then selling them in the black market, but he wants to make it BIG!
By chance, he happens on a serious car accident. He observes a video crew filming the bloody scene. He speaks to the lead cameraman (Joe-Bill Paxton from Big Love) and learns that Joe is an independent contractor selling the footage to various TV stations. Lou decides this just might be the business for him.
Lou purchases a police radio and a cheap video camera and films an accident. He is able to sell the footage and starts a professional relationship with Nina (Night News Producer -Renee Russo from Tin Cup) who senses that he has talent. Nina must improve the ratings of her newscast or she won’t get her contract renewed.
Jake hires Rick (Riz Ahmed) for almost nothing, spinning it as an Internship. They start filming car accidents and violent crimes taking place at night. Jake learns his craft rapidly and becomes increasingly successful.
Jake, however, has serious character flaws which the film gradually and skillfully reveals. (If I say more, I will spoil it.)
The movie has depth and is emotionally compelling. I can’t recall seeing anything quite like it before. It will work fine as a rental, but it’s good enough to see on the BS (Big Screen).
Rating-7.5-good movie worth a trip to the BS.