“Nocturnal Animals” Review ✦✦✦✦✧

4 November, 2016

Director: Tom Ford
Screenwriter: Tom Ford
Director of Photography: Seamus McGarvey
Cast: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal

Synopsis: A wealthy art gallery owner begins to reassess her life after her ex-husband sends her a manuscript containing a clear message about their failed relationship. Tormented and confused as the story unravels, it soon becomes clear that the man she once loved has refused to forget their dark past.

Nocturnal Animals Review:

Revenge is a dish best served in hardback and “Nocturnal Animals” couldn’t be more audacious in its exploration of literary malevolence. In a time where subtweeting and unfriending have become the standard way to send a message about a failed relationship, a movie that dedicates an entire novel to the person who ruined an author’s life feels like a pretty contemptuous one.

Made by fashion designer turned filmmaker Tom Ford, “Nocturnal Animals” sees a director who’s cut from the same cloth as the woman at the centre of his adaptation. Both character and producer have forged a career out of displaying art and beauty and Ford’s velvety, evasive kind of storytelling is the culmination of his obsession with the feelings behind fashion. The movie is deliberately choppy and yet we learn an awful lot about its characters without even realising it.

For such a flashy artist, Ford shows a huge amount of restraint in his story-within-a-story as the movie’s inner narrative unfolds with complete dedication to its characters yet very little flare on the surface. A desolate landscape shields us from the dazzle of high art but Ford’s frame is so wonderfully self-assured that even scenes of the unremarkable are lit and composed within an inch of their life.

As a film about writing, and the emotion and soul-searching that goes into it, “Nocturnal Animals” is a bold and honest interpretation of the pain that goes onto paper. It’s a metaphorical whirlwind of emotion and blame, a text made with the sole purpose of speaking to the guilty party and to them alone. The movie’s inner narrative practically bleeds from the manuscript as the selfishness of one act and the damage it has caused to a person’s life plays out in a downbeat tale of suffering and weakness.


Review Date
Nocturnal Animals