Susan (Amy Adams) is in an unfulfilling second marriage when she receives a package containing a manuscript from her ex-husband, Edward ( Jake Gyllenhaal). Moved by Edward’s writing, Susan cannot help but reminisce over the most private moments from her own love story with the author. Trying to look within herself and beyond the glossy surface of the life and career that she has made, Susan increasingly interprets the book as a tale of revenge, a tale that forces her to re-evaluate the choices that she has made, and re-awakens a love that she feared was lost – as the story builds to a reckoning that will define both the novel’s hero and her own.
There are movies that try very hard to be artsy and then you have films that embody what it is to be called art. Nocturnal Animals falls into the latter category. It honestly threw me for a loop at how dark and aggressive the movie was but was beautifully shot at the same time. I was really impressed with the plot and how director Tom Ford was able to weave a story within a story and in both cases I was engrossed with curiosity at the outcome. I also really liked how the story that Edward wrote is basically a metaphor in a sense for the relationship that he had with his ex-wife (or at least that’s how I saw it) but it was because of that, that I felt like watching it a few times gave me new things that I uncovered. I was excited to see Gyllenhaal in this film. He’s a fantastic actor that can bring the intensity to his roles and he did exactly that in this film. Seeing him on this wave of emotions that took one of his characters right to the edge was definitely a highlight and showed that he perfected the ability of embodying his characters completely. Adams is a fantastic actress but REALLY unlikable in this movie. Seeing her squirm as she read the story in the film was kind of somewhat satisfying in a sense but at the same time I was kind of in her shoes as well because I wasn’t exactly sure where this story was leading. Taylor-Johnson gave a phenomenal performance. His scumbag character was one of the best (and worst) that I’ve seen in a while and for a good minute there I didn’t even recognize him which added to the fact that this actor can easily transform himself. The one thing that I will say was unnecessary was the nudity in the beginning of the film. It made no sense to me to include that and it didn’t do anything whatsoever for the store. I can understand if it was done for the “shock factor” but it didn’t NEED to be there. Other than that this film was excellently crafted and very thought provoking which we don’t get much of nowadays. A must watch! 8/10
Building The Story – Writer/Director Tom Ford talks about the two intertwining stories and how each one serves one another throughout.
The Look Of Nocturnal Animals – This feature focuses on the cinematography and how the look and feel of the film is just as important as the story.
The Filmmaker’s Eye: Tom Ford – Ford talks a lot about certain aspects of the film that the viewer may not have caught the first time watching it. They even talk a bit about the ending witch Ford and Adams give their take on it.
I REALLY WISH THERE WERE MORE (AND LONGER) FEATURES!