So, it’s official: everyone loves Nightcrawler. 10/10 reviews are praising Jake’s performance, and I’ll posting here a mix of all reviews I’ve seen.
Gyllenhaal, who lost a significant amount of weight for the role, bugs out his eyes and makes a creepy leer of his leonine grin, Lou looking boyish or ghoulish depending on the light. Gilroy has written a lot of words for Gyllenhaal to make his way through, and he does it nimbly, relishing the opportunity to let his motor run at breakneck speeds. (Vanity Fair)
For his latest film, the wildly evocative drama Nightcrawler, the actor lost 30 pounds, stayed out of the sun and grew out his hair. The physical transformation is stunning. More important, so is his performance. (…)This film proves there’s a Lou Bloom lurking inside most of us. He’s just the one willing to cross the yellow police tape. And as the shadowy sleazebag antihero, Gyllenhaal deserves to bask in the limelight. (US Magazine)
The film’s a satirical thriller, which is a novel enough entity in itself these days; it has a pungent, can’t-miss-the-point premise, and a big, weird, sharkish performance from Jake Gyllenhaal powering it up. It’s a must-see and a must-talk-about film, electrically overblown in the moment, if not wholly in control of its pay-off. (Telegraph)
Still, Gyllenhaal does a fantastic job channeling Louis’ outrageous and overwrought personality, whether he’s offering up lame sermons on entrepreneurship or tying his greasy long hair into a knot. It’s a performance that seems to take cues from both Robert De Niro in The King of Comedy and Joaquin Phoenix in The Master, although the real reference could be Timothy Treadwell in Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man – another character risking his life to capture something deadly on video, well aware of both the danger it entails and the self-aggrandizement that it generates. (THR)
Co-starring Bill Paxton as a ruthless veteran nightcrawler, and Riz Ahmed as Bloom’s nervous and hesitant employee, both these fine actors deliver strong performances, but this is Gyllenhaal’s jagged show. (Indiewire)
Gyllenhaal’s physical transformation is striking. While he apparently only lost twenty pounds or so, with his prominent cheekbones and huge eyes, he looks a lot different than the matinee idol audiences were drooling over at the post-film Q&A. This is a game-changer for his career, and if he doesn’t get an Oscar nomination for this than something is seriously wrong with the Academy, as this is the performance of the year so far. (JoBlo)