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Nocturnal Animals (2016)

by EHL Movie Reviews

Run Time: 1 hour 56 min
Release Date: November 04 2016
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director: Tom Ford
Cast: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon

Plot Summary

A wealthy art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a symbolic revenge tale.

This has a storyline that requires a lot of attention to the screen. It mainly follows Susan (Amy Adams), who receives an unpublished novel from her ex-husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal). The movie jumps between past, present and the fictional novel. Director Tom Ford manages to make this storyline work on all fronts, although you really have to pay attention to keep up with this, the way in which this was done made it clear which path we were following.

The fictional story is seen through the eyes of Amy Adams character. We follow a family road trip consisting of Tony (also played by Gyllenhaal). At one particular moment, this becomes unsettling and extremely uncomfortable to watch, but the story provides an intense viewing, this is emphasised by Susan’s reactions to the novel. The way this film jumps from real life to the novel also raises more questions; Does the novel link to Edwards real life? Is there a deeper meaning to him sending this to Susan?

Adams is very good in this role, a similar role to which she played in ‘Arrival’, someone that is going through troubles in her life. Again she provides us with another convincing performance, as did Jake Gyllenhaal who got a lot of screen time as Tony, he really captures this characters pain and anguish that he is experiencing due to the events of the novel. You don’t see much of Edward this get you thinking as to what his role in this is and whether there is a more to this character’s actions in this film.

‘Nocturnal Animals’ is not afraid to follow a story line that requires a certain amount of intelligence to follow, this is a thought-provoking piece of film making that is meticulously put together in such a way that makes it an intense and interesting viewing that will linger in the mind.