Sunday, December 4, 2016

Nocturnal Animals

Movie Name: Nocturnal Animals
Year of Release: 2016
Director: Tom Ford
Stars: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Laura Linney, Isla Fisher, Ellie Bamber, Armie Hammer, Karl Glusman, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Sheen, Robert Aramayo, Imogen Waterhouse, Jena Malone, Kristin Bauer van Straten
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
View Trailer Here

After his debut with the beautiful "A Single Man", director Tom Ford is back, with another stylish and ambitious film, this time adapting the novel by Austin Wright "Nocturnal Animals". The film follows the story of two characters, Susan Morrow and Edward Sheffield. Once married and very much in love, this couple has since divorced, and Susan is now unhappily married to stray husband by the name of Hutton. Susan unexpectedly receives a manuscript from Edward, for his first novel, which is dedicated to her. As Susan starts reading the book, the events from it start unfolding, in a particularly brutal way, while her memories of the disintegration of her first relationship come back. The book sparks memories of her decisions and what led Susan to her current life.
Tom Ford has managed with both features he has directed outline a distinct point of view, anchored simultaneously in a specific stylistic approach, and with distinct touches of surrealism. "Nocturnal Animals" is a film that marries two very distinct looks - Susan's world which is governed by clean surfaces and an elegant and minimal aesthetic, and the world that Susan enters through Edward's book, the gritty, brutal and painful scenario of West Texas. Even if at times the two sides of the story apparently clash, they bring to the surface the pain of the relationship that existed between the two lead characters. It's a film that at times feels a bit unbalanced - the story within the book needs a grittier look and feel, and a clever device such as the one that Pedro Almodovar used in the fantastic "Bad Education" to marry the film within the film, but there's so much to admire. The film features impeccable performances from Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon, and on a smaller note the always terrific Laura Linney makes a great cameo. The cinematography from Seamus McGarvey is luscious and stunning, the same going for the score of Abel Korzeniowski. A good film from a very talented storyteller.