The refrain you could hear ringing round my house over the past few weeks has been some variation upon, "It's not an outbreak!" Every news-channel hollers that Ebola's coming to get us, and so we holler back harder, um, hold your horses, spazzes. Four people in the US, all health-care workers, does not an outbreak make, yet the media wants us all to make like Dustin Hoffman and that damned rhesus. But what's it matter? Watching the news turns us all into patient zeroes - they fry your brain for you; who needs Ebola to do it?
It's in this state that we greet director Dan Gilroy's impeccably sharp Nightcrawler, a razor's edge satire you'll be so busy being enthralled by you won't even notice the adrenaline shot of righteous anger being shot straight into your veins. It's always kind of grotesque to try and claim something as capturing the moment when you're actually inside of the moment, it needs time to coalesce, to sort out the big stuff from the chaff, but I'll be damned if this thing doesn't feel like the here and the now of everything that matters, delivered with black-hearted precision and wit and chest-pumping junkie bliss.
When I saw those first pictures of Jake Gyllenhaal on set, whittled down to a trembling grey sack of bones, hoo boy did I scoff, I scoffed with bewildered abandon - not another gorgeous sacrifice to the clammy-handed gods of the supposed craft! Well I'll say it right here right now, I scoffed in vain. Every manic ounce he dropped and every permanent scar he may've laced his knuckles with, they were worth it, so worth it, this performance is above and beyond - terrifying and singular, Lou Bloom you take your place up there right next to Travis Bickle.
Y'all know what a Jake fan-boy I am so trust or me or don't trust me at the end of the year when two Gyllenhaal movies sit lofty upon my favorites perch (Oh Enemy, my Enemy), but fuck the McConnaissance - the ReGyllenation is here.