WEIRDLAND: Happy 34th birthday, Jake Gyllenhaal!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy 34th birthday, Jake Gyllenhaal!


Jake Gyllenhaal attending the New York premiere of "Nightcrawler"

Nightcrawler (2014) Interview. Description: A young man stumbles upon the underground world of L.A. freelance crime journalism.

Gyllenhaal is a revelation once again, and the control of his instrument is a wonderful thing to witness. The character is unhinged, but precisely pitched. Unblinking and haunted, one imagines a rich back story for this character. While it's never explicitly stated, much is suggested by Gyllenhaal's fractured, on-the-edge performance and the environment around him; a lifetime of loneliness and isolation from an indifferent world that's about to crack and manifest itself in all kinds of ugly fissures. The harsh fluorescent brilliance of “Nightcrawler” is just how in tune Gyllenhaal, Gilroy and the movie are. Bloom and the movie slowly uncoil in tandem lock and step to unveil much more than an unsocialized loner who’s listened to too many of Tony Robbins' motivational speeches. But Gyllenhaal isn’t scene-chewing, and the humanity glimpsed early on is perhaps what makes his sinister transformation so creepy. "A friend is a gift that you give yourself," Bloom says with a cracked smile at a critical moment to Russo. It's both a veiled threat and a deeper reveal of a personality far more sociopathic than initially exposed.

When he finally gets a taste of success, Bloom becomes a tyrannical psycho unleashed through sheer force of will. And what's rather brilliant about Gyllenhaal's (and the movie's) characterization of Bloom's personal revolution is that it is both frightening and darkly hilarious. The repetition of this theme and Bloom's insistent self-motivational orations can be off-putting at first, but once Gyllenhaal's go-for-broke turn connects, these speeches click into gear, and they can be delightfully mordant. You just need to speak Gilroy-ese and go with the flow of this hectic patois that's perhaps indebted to Paddy Chayefsky's "Network."

Marginalized and having gone hungry for what feels like a lifetime, a ravaged economic disparity pulses through the crisp air of “Nightcrawler.” Luminescent with coyote-like eyes, Gyllenhaal’s like a hollowed out animal that spends nights hunting for marginal scraps to keep himself alive. But what separates the feral Bloom from all the night-time loners and losers in this particular wilderness is unremitting drive and unhealthy obsessiveness, It’s as if going hungry for so long has created an intensely sharp mind that just won’t quiet. And the inability to switch off is toxic. Source:

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