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Freeview film of the day: Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed comb the streets looking for grizzly crime scenes to film in this dark slice of LA noir

Published: Friday, 5th May 2017 at 11:01 pm

Nightcrawler ★★★★★ 
Premiere 9.00-10.50pm BBC2

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All hail, Riz Ahmed! With a portfolio of smart TV dramas (Britz, HBO’s The Night Of, Girls) and varied films (Shifty, Four Lions, Rogue One), the modest British Pakistani actor, still only 34, was named as one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2017. But it was 2013 indie thriller Nightcrawler that gave him his big American break, playing the guileless, penniless assistant to Jake Gyllenhaal’s amoral, ambulance-chasing video-journalist. In writer/director Dan Gilroy’s sleazily acerbic portrait of nocturnal LA, Gyllenhaal uses police radio scanners and a camcorder to capture lurid crimes, selling the footage to cable boss Rene Russo (a part deserving of her overlooked skills). Ethical and moral lines blur and our antiheroes risk their own safety to get the scoop in a movie that could be described as an update of Network for the digital media age. Bourne Legacy co-writer Gilroy’s screenplay was Oscar-nominated. Riz Ahmed also stars in The Reluctant Fundamentalist tomorrow.

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