“Nocturnal Animals” is 3 films in one starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. The first is who and what Susan (Adams) is today while the second is the mystery novel that Edward (Gyllenhaal) has written and dedicated to his ex wife Susan while the third is Susan and Edward over 19 years ago when they met and got married.

Along the way the have and have nots are explored with Los Angeles being the world of the elite with all glass homes, art galleries, rich good looking men and beautiful women while the rednecks have unending horizons in the flat areas of Texas, men who rape, rob and kill while in both societies people of color are rarely seen.

“Nocturnal Animals” is the second film directed and written by Tom Ford, the first being the acclaimed “A Single Man”. The 3 stories are not told in lineralfashion and instead skip back of forth between yesterday, the novel in movie form and today, each time easily followed. We watch Susan read the novel, seeing herself in the the main character Laura and the girl who became the woman she is today.

There is violence led by a trio of nasty men, following the frightening Aaron Taylor-Johnson who has no problem moving his bowels on his front porch. There is ugliness starting with the opening credits showing the installation of a gallery exhibit that almost turned me off the film. There is a scene with an aging socialite trying to look like Elizabeth Taylor (Andrea Riseborough) and her gay husband Carlos, played by Michael Sheen. 

Along the way are the pretty people of Tom Ford’s world including ArmieHammer as Susan’s husband and a striking cameo by Laura Linney as her mother. On the opposite side are country people who have a lived in face such as detective Bobby played by Michael Shannon. In Edward’s novel Isla Fisher plays Susan, called Laura in the book, and Ellie Bamber as the daughter.

All the acting is impeccable almost certainly bringing Amy Adams another Oscar nomination though the actress field is pretty crowded this year and maybe, just maybe, bring Jake Gyllenhaal the Oscar he ceratinly deserves for this movie and his total body of work.

Tom Ford obviously takes his movie making seriously, has a couple of breath taking scenes when recreating Edward’s novel but just falls short of his wanting to make film as art.

“Nocturnal Animals” is an interesting film but doesn’t quite make the must see list except for the acting.




Posted November 18, 2016 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized

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