Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals

(2016)

When you love someone you can't just throw it away.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams star in this romantic thriller from writer-director Tom Ford, based on the novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright.... More

"Susan (Adams) is a successful L.A. art gallery owner who wants for very little, yet she finds her paradise troubled by the frequent absences of her second husband (Armie Hammer), a handsome young doctor, due to his incessant travelling. Susan is rattled further when a manuscript arrives on her desk, written by her long-estranged first husband, Tony (Gyllenhaal).

"Alone, with her current husband away in New York, Susan opens the manuscript and is propelled into the fictional life of a teacher (also Gyllenhaal) whose drive to his summer house with his family is about to turn into a nightmare. As Susan gets deeper into the book, she is forced to examine her own past. Oscillating effortlessly between Susan's reality and the story within a story, Ford slowly and meticulously turns the screws, delving into suspense while keeping a firm hand on the disturbing drama." (Toronto International Film Festival)Hide

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Flicks Review

Fashion designer-turned-filmmaker Tom Ford knows how to grab our attention, I’ll give him that. His sophomore directorial effort, Nocturnal Animals, opens with what is probably the most dazzling curtain-raiser of the year: a slow-mo procession of flesh and glitter that plays like a provocative rebuke of the way the opening credits of the James Bond franchise have traditionally converted women’s bodies into stylised, seductive props. Unfortunately the bulk of the film, an adaptation of Austin Wright’s 1993 novel Tony and Susan, fails to live up to the promise of this temporary entrancement.... More

Make no mistake, Ford continues to exhibit the touch of a consummate stylist. Nocturnal Animals drips with the same kind of lush, florid, Almodovarian atmosphere of his debut A Single Man. And there are a few standout moments along the way. The initial story-within-a-story, where a family is terrorised on a stretch of desert road by a trio of thuggish bros, is an impressively sustained sequence of nerve-rattling terror. As always, Michael Shannon is reason enough to stick with mediocre films, and his mustachioed Texas cop here is a delightfully flinty scene-stealer who animates proceedings whenever the going gets too turgid.

But ultimately this stew of noir campiness -- part meta brain-teaser, part pulp revenge thriller -- is uneven and stodgy, hewing closer to the embarrassing pastiche of Atom Egoyan’s Where the Truth Lies than the exquisite smoke-and-mirrors of Brian De Palma’s Femme Fatale. It’s a bad sign when not even the generally reliable Amy Adams convinces, perhaps highlighting the trickiness of crafting worthwhile cinema out of a frosty, wealthy art gallerist gasping through a manuscript.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 38 ratings, 20 reviews
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It feels odd to criticize a film pitched as a psychological thriller for being "cold" or "unpleasant" - these would seem to be prerequisites for the genre. But Nocturnal Animals is cold, unpleasant, and frustratingly close to being something better. Even with a cast this strong, I sensed some basic artificiality at the root of the enterprise, which made it hard to credit or care about. The strategy of a narrative-within-a-narrative-plus-flashbacks proves more interesting in theory than as... More drama. It's two story-streams offer one another much subtext through juxtaposition and contrast, but their divergent tones and content never gel satisfactorily: the facile LA-art scene "reality" feels forced while the Texas murder "fiction", though it sustains awful tension admirably in its early stages, relies more on genre auto-pilot the longer it goes on. This being the world according to Tom Ford, the film is visually impeccable, and there is obvious ambition, intelligence, and sophistication at work. Maybe that's the problem: it's "designer psychodrama", overthought and under-felt, all concept and no utility.Hide


BY KennethP91 superstar

Nocturnal Animal is directed by Tom Ford, it stars Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Aaron-Taylor Johnson and Michael Shannon.

Amy Adams plays a wealthy and a sophisticated art gallery owner. She receives a novel from her ex-husband, which she interprets as a devastating story about a family, however as she reads on, she recalls the memories with her ex-husband and confronts a dark past that’s loomed over both their lives.

This movie is incredibly stylish, Tom Ford, the director which is also a... More fashion designer, knows how to dress his cast. From the glamorous parties to the dusty setting of the south. Everyone looked great. However the most impressive aspect of this film is overall structure.

The format of the movie is a story within a story. There’s the movie story with Amy Adams and there’s the novel story that she reads. The way the stories switch is seamless and it doesn’t distract you from the storytelling. You understand what’s happening in both stories and both are gripping in their own ways.

The main great thing about this movie is it’s cast, all of the four main characters are acted incredibly well. Aaron-Taylor Johnson in particular who’s completely unrecognizable. He’s playing Ray Marcus who’s incredibly villainous and you hate him through out the film but you appreciate how good the character is acted.

Overall this movie won’t be for everyone, it’s nihilistic and dark and things do not go well with it’s characters. However the incredible storytelling and the great acting carries this movie substantially. Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron-Taylor Johnson were all incredible and even Amy Adam’s subdued performance is also great. For people who enjoys a dark thriller with great acting and story Nocturnal Animals is highly recommended.Hide


The pacing and cinematography were very moody and Eyes Wide Shut-esque. I though the film blended the story within the story well with both the current time tale and flash backs & that was an interesting twist. It was an intriguing film and had us discussing it afterwards, but maybe a little too intellectual and simply left me feeling cold.


What a film! I saw this last night and have a feeling I'm going to be thinking about it for days to come!
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From the opening credits, you will be thrown into something quite unexpected. Trance-like yet utterly riveting. The genius of this film is the way Ford has moulded the 3 storylines so seamlessly. They complement each other perfectly. It's two completely different genres, but the pace of each one somehow offsets the other so well.
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As you would... More expect the performances are spot on. Gyllenhaal and Adams are perfect for these roles. Shannon is exceptional and a true standout. He's so comfortable in this role, it just seems effortless. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, from Kick-ass & The Avengers, is a revelation. This is career defining for him. A harrowing performance!
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Nocturnal Animals has it all. Style and suspense are in abundance. It's a mind-bender that should keep you thinking for a good while after..Hide


BY filmlover superstar

Tom Ford has done a masterful job of layering on this flick. There is a lot more to the story than initially meets the eye and for some viewers the plot may be confusing but really this is a simple tale of regret and revenge told from multiple angles. The casting was less than perfect and the slowness of the pace was wearing in some parts but kudos to Tom Ford on only his second feature film. The end definitely justified the means.


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The Press Reviews

  • The film once again demonstrates that Ford is both an intoxicating sensualist and an accomplished storyteller... Full Review

  • Tom Ford takes his stylish shears to Austin Wright's intricate 1993 novel Tony And Susan, cutting and splicing to re-assemble a gleaming array of images in a narrative Russian doll. Full Review

  • This is a terrifically absorbing thriller with that vodka-kick of pure malice. Full Review

  • The movie feels glazed and remote, a surface with all the identifying fingerprints polished off. Full Review

  • Feels almost unbearably cruel and cynical. Full Review

  • Tom Ford's first film since 'A Single Man' is another winner, an ambitious high-wire noir thriller with Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal in an explosive tale of love, violence, and revenge. Full Review

  • Style is substance in Ford's second film. Unlike many puzzle-piece movies, it thrills on every level. Full Review

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