Saturday, November 26, 2016

Nocturnal Animals

Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal excel in this new film by designer/filmmaker, Tom Ford. Only his second feature, Mr. Ford directs with confidence from his own original script.  The film is a very sophisticated thriller about relationships and the fragility of love and cruelty.

Ms. Adams plays Susan, an art curator in a troubled second marriage to Hutton, played by Armie Hammer. Her ex-husband Edward, Mr. Gyllenhaal's character, has just sent her a manuscript of his completed novel, entitled "Nocturnal Animals". Over a long weekend alone, Susan begins to read the novel which then comes to life on the screen.

In the film within a film, Mr. Gyllenhaal plays Tony, a loving husband who runs into trouble on a dark Texas highway late one night, while traveling with his wife (Isla Fisher) and teenage daughter (Ellie Bamber). Also featured in this part of the story are Michael Shannon and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (both excellent). The film cuts back and forth between Susan's world and Tony's story in the novel.

There are connections to be made and devastating revelations to be revealed between the two worlds and Mr. Ford frames every detail with exquisite production values and cinematography. The ending will surely garner discussion and images from the film may haunt you for some time.  

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