Nightcrawler and Whiplash
by Toby Woollaston
Both have excellent performances, and both look beautiful.
Nightcrawler presents an almost unrecognisable Jake Gyllenhaal as an unscrupulous TV news footage gatherer. Gyllenhaal does a very convincing job at playing the slightly unhinged sociopath. (Why he didn’t get an Oscar nominee for this role is beyond me … but that’s the Oscars for you). He is genuinely scary. Not sure why they had him drive around in a bright red Mustang though … slight flaw, but otherwise a compelling and unsettling film.
Likewise, J.K. Simmon’s performance stood out in Whiplash. His unpredictable and unethical teaching methods were downright hilarious and unnerving at the same time. Poor students.
Really recommend these two films.