This role is game-changer for Jake Gyllenhaal’s career. Gaunt and hollow-eyed, he’s Louis Bloom, a lone insomniac and nocturnal denizen of Los Angeles. Ambitious and amoral, he becomes a freelance videographer, chasing crime and traffic accidents to capture and feed the insatiable beast of local TV news. This is a dark, slippery thriller, one that at first asks us to like Lou, then makes us complicit as he repeatedly crosses the line to manipulate what he shoots. For a more detailed review of the film, go here.
Maps To The Stars
David Cronenberg makes interesting, provocative films. Even when he’s off the mark, he deserves our attention. He’s earned that. I didn’t love his new one, Maps To The Stars, a sour little satire of Hollywood, a collection of desperate and mentally ill people chasing their dreams of fame and attention to grim conclusions. The cast shines, and maybe there’s more going on under the surface of this tale—final scenes are pointedly ambiguous—but I wished it was funnier and found myself struggling to care.
Before I Go To Sleep
A thriller about a woman in her 40s who wakes up every day with no memory of her life since she was in her 20s, and on a daily basis has to be reintroduced to her husband and everything else that’s happened in the past decade. The film stars Nicole Kidman, Mark Strong and Colin Firth—a solid cast. I’m a sucker for thrillers and for any movies that explore the nature of memory and identity, so I’m interested to see where this one goes.
Happy New Year
I neglected to mention Happy New Year when it opened last week, and for that I apologize. I have to confess, I’m a little out of the loop on the Bollywood scene, but it is always exciting when we get the chance to see international cinema locally, even if the movies are invariable only shown on screens at Bayers Lake. Getting all the way out there can be a pain in the ass for those who don’t have access to a car. That 52 bus is a draaaag.
Happy New Year is an Indian comedy caper directed by Farah Khan about six characters in search of respect. It’s partly set in Dubai and is 180 minutes long.
The Trial is drama from the Philippines, about a mentally challenged man charged with rape. It opens today.