9) Nightcrawler (First Look Teaser)
It seems that everyone has been talking about the “McConaissance” of a certain Oscar-winning actor and wondering who is the big star to rekindle their career with a variety of exceptional dramatic work. I would argue that for the past few years, we have also been in the midst of a “Gyllenhaal of Fame.” After giving strong turns in Zodiac, End of Watch and Prisoners, among others, 2014 showed the actor give the two best performances of his career. He went double duty in Denis Villeneuve’s unnerving Enemy and also anchored one of the year’s best thrillers, Nightcrawler, with his penetrating performance.
If there are any doubters of the actor’s bravura talent, may I nudge you toward Nightcrawler’s 50-second teaser. As Lou Bloom, the driven if disturbed idealist who becomes one of the hottest self-made men in the realm of trashy TV news, Gyllenhaal reaches a career peak. In this brief glimpse, Lou gives an address to various people, including the trailer’s audience and a news station monitor, pitching his skills to get a job in this competitive market. “Today’s work culture no longer caters to the job loyalty that could be promised to earlier generations,” he says, mirroring the thoughts of young adults in the present marketplace. “What I believe is that good things come to those who work their asses off.”
Lou’s entrancing pitch gives us a sense of the character’s determination, but also his simmering rage, which comes out in a brief exasperated yell near the end. Without showing much in the way of footage or story, the teaser tries to sell this uncompromising character to us, knowing well that the film may be hard to enjoy if we’re not hypnotized by the character and Gyllenhaal’s performance.
Lou Bloom is one of 2014’s great characters, and here was an endlessly intriguing look into his mind.