Nocturnal Animals is a movie that never lets up from the opening credits. With that in mind, do not watch with any family members or the elderly because director Tom Ford does not hold back.
This movie hops between real life and a novel written by Jake Gyllenhall’s character Ed. He writes about his wife and daughter being abducted and murdered in a small town in west Texas. The novel alone is stunning and does a great job of keeping the suspense high and tensions flaring. The real life plot follows Amy Adams and her quest to happiness in a man. With this, it leads to uneasy conversations and flashbacks filled with coulda-beens. The stand out here is Michael Shannon as he plays the Lieutenant who “looks into things ’round these parts”. He is the man that helps Jake Gyllenhall’s fictional self track down the murders of his family.
One annoying thing about this movie is that Amy Adam’s version of herself in the book plot is portrayed by Isla Fischer and I didn’t notice until the end of the movie. Those two look so similar to me. I hate when movies do that because I will forever be confused on who is who. The Phantom Menace left me confused forever between Natalie Portman and Kiera Nightly played twins or body doubles.
The commentary about the art industry and love is thinly veiled as Tom Ford does not pull any punches about the modern takes of what a body should look like and wether money and wealth is the key to happiness. Tom Ford really has proven himself as not only competent but skilled director whose artistic abilities flowed perfectly with the shot selection and gorgeous western Texas back drop. With this, Nocturnal Animals proves itself as a heavy hitter of 2016 and justifies that adult thillers are not dead, but merely making a comeback.
Nocturnal Animals 8.7/10