I'd rate this a decent film on it's own merits but it's influence on subsequent stock broker-y type films can't be ignored.
From direct reference in Boiler Room, to the levels of extravagance be imitated in pretty much every film of the genre (sub-genre?) this is not to be sniffed at.
Never really rated Charlie Sheen acting wise and I'd put this forward as another example. Some other good performances of course, Douglas obviously and Sheen Snr in particular.
Managed to not see this for the 11 years it existed, despite all the good I'd heard about it.
Easy enough to see why it's as admired as it is, really well shot, and acted and the sub plots are really good padding out the film as a whole.
Can't say I'm a fan of Gondry's subsequent works, in fact I like a lot of music videos more so. This was a fine screenplay and well deserving of it's plaudits.
"What if my problem wasn't that I don't understand people but that I don't like them?"
Take the beautiful LA nightscapes of Collateral.
Add the single minded determination/psychosis of King of Comedy.
Sprinkle a pinch of the unnerving male/female conversations from Taxi Driver.
Throw in Jake Gyllenhaal in the form of his life, and you've got Nightcrawler.
Fantastic film. Great idea, well executed. Looks class, very entertaining to boot.
JG and Rene Russo's conversations are top notch; Russo's control wanes in every conversation, and it's masterfully done.
As Lou says, he's a quick learner.