Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed, Bill Paxton, Ann Cusack, Kevin Rahm, Kathleen York
Sociopath Louis Bloom (Gyllenhaal) is struggling to find a position in life, that is until he witnesses a car crash and the surrounding media - known as Stringers - that follows such tragedies of the world. Inspired, Bloom gets himself a camcorder, radio scanner and enforcer in local TV director Nina Romina (Russo). But how far can one man take the already intrusive nature of the paparazzi?
Fascinating, hands-on directorial debut for writer Gilroy, who previously helped pen Two for the Money, Real Steel and The Bourne Legacy, is easily a labour of love for those involved. The evidence includes actress Russo's sensationally fierce performance (she's Gilroy's wife), Gyllenhaal's producing credit and Gilroy's brothers help with producing and editing.
Gyllenhaal's amazing transformation into a weedy insect, hence the title, is matched by Ahmed's performance as Bloom's under-privileged assistant who sees more truth than Bloom ever will. It's nice to see Paxton back in a bad-ass way on the big screen. What makes this story stand out from others is its relentlessness and attitude to show people for who and what they are, not necessarily what we would like them to be. Some harsh truths come into play here, but it's completely worth it.