Friday, 1 January 2016
Nightcrawler (5 Stars)
I chose this screenshot to advertise the film "Nightcrawler" quite deliberately. I know it's dark, I know it's gloomy and low in contrast, but I think that it sums up the film's atmosphere. Lou Bloom, played by Jake Gyllenhaal in one of the best roles of his career, is a dark and gloomy person.
Lou is a true psychopath. He's determined to succeed at all costs. He lives in a world in which jobs are scarce, especially for those without special qualifications. If doing a job means trampling on those around him, so be it. He doesn't even have a romantic interest in the film. The only woman he tries to sleep with is someone who can help him with his career.
I have to say, I admire Lou's little job interview speech. He has no qualifications whatsoever for the job he wants, but he knows how to sell himself. He uses all the catchphrases that they recommend in the clever how-to books.
"I'm looking for a job. In fact. I've made up my mind to find a career that I can learn and grow into. Who am I? I'm a hard worker, I set high goals, and I've been told that I'm persistent. Now, I'm not fooling myself, sir. Having been raised with the self-esteem movement so popular in schools I used to expect my needs to be considered. But I know that today's work culture no longer caters to the job loyalty that could be promised to earlier generations. What I believe, sir, is that good things come to those who work their asses off, and that people such as yourself, who reached the top of the mountain, didn't just fall there. My motto is, if you wanna win the lottery you have to make the money to buy a ticket".
Jake Gyllenhaal's best film will always be "Donnie Darko", a film almost impossible to better, but this is his his best performance as an actor so far. He's deliciously evil, charming the audience, enticing us to like him whatever he does.
This is my last review of the year. I'm sipping a glass of wine while writing it. That's unusual for me. I almost never drink alcohol at home. For me alcoholic drinks are social drinks, to accompany and assist conversations with my friends.
I don't trust people who never drink alcohol, whatever their motives. Alcohol is healthy in small amounts. Abstinence from alcohol is unhealthy. It's amazing that America's prohibition of alcohol, which lasted from 1920 to 1933, was the result of campaigning by Christians. Didn't they read the Bible? Christianity doesn't just allow the consumption of alcohol, it demands it. When Jesus shared the last supper with his disciples he told them that they should eat bread and drink wine in remembrance of him until he came again. This sacrament has been twisted by different Christian denominations who would rather reject the drinking of wine than simply obey what is written. As if this isn't enough, Paul writes of the medicinal value of wine, "Drink no longer only water, but use a little wine on account of thy stomach" (1. Timothy 5:23). Last but not least, remember that Jesus drank wine at weddings. Now I'm drinking wine at home.