Ever keen to explore the similarities between some of the industry’s most successful and memorable films, Jorge Luengo Ruiz — whose other comparisons include “Her” to “Lost in Translation” and “Interstellar” to “2001: A Space Odyssey” — recently connected the dots between “Nightcrawler” and its predecessor of 38 years, “Taxi Driver.” Over the course of his supercut, Ruiz attests that Louis Bloom of “Nightcrawler” (so creepily and perfectly played by Jake Gyllenhaal) could easily be the son of “Taxi Driver” protagonist, Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro).
Ruiz isn’t the first person to make the connection between Martin Scorsese and Dan Gilroy’s films. A full ten months ago — and over three months before “Nightcrawler” opened — HitFix’s Kristopher Tapley speculated that the film could well be Gyllenhaal’s “Taxi Driver.” The Atlantic also jumped on the comparison, although not until “Nightcrawler” was released at the end of October of last year. Almost two months before that, CriticWire also called out the two film’s similarities, a connection which should only be taken as praise. Though Bloom might conjure memories of Bickle, he’s his own type of demented.
None of the other, earlier connections made between Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” and Gilroy’s “Nightcrawler” detract from the work Ruiz did in visually binding them. If anything, Ruiz builds upon past links called out by fans of both films. During his video, which you can watch below, he shows the similarities between the men, their origins, and their destinations. Even if you didn’t think about the connection while watching “Nightcrawler” for the first time, it’s hard to deny the overlap now. And, perhaps, such a tight line between “Nightcrawler” and “Taxi Driver” only makes Gilroy’s film more of an accomplishment (and that’s not saying anything about the fact this was Gilroy’s first attempt at directing).
Of course, the Academy was kinder to “Taxi Driver,” bestowing upon it nominations for Best Picture, Best Lead Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. “Nightcrawler” on the other hand, was nominated for Dan Gilroy’s Original Screenplay only, which given Gyllenhaal’s performance and Gilroy’s directorial debut, is a true shame. (That’s no knock against the script, mind you; that was a well-deserved nomination.)
Check out Ruiz’s comparison below.