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Nocturnal animals review

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Nocturnal animals




R 116 min





A thought crossed my mind when I noticed I've been watching some really excellent crime dramas in the form of cable series. 10, maybe 13 hour long episodes, all moving along toward a climax and it occurred to me that takes a little bit away from the two hour movie format. I don't know if the cable offerings have anything to do with it but it doesn't seem like there's as many crime dramas at the motion picture emporium as there used to be.


At first glance NOCTURNAL ANIMALS doesn't jump off the moviefone app and demand attention. It stars Amy Adams who is almost always very good, the same goes for Jake Gyllenhaal, but neither one would be considered an A list box office performer.


So with my other two choices being yet another dirty comedy and political passion play I decided to go with it and friends I'm glad I did.


NOCTURNAL ANIMALS is definitely one of the best films I've seen this year, so I might as well begin with a spoiler alert.


Put your Voice in the closet go see the movie and come back and see if you agree. (a couple I spoke to after the film certainly did not and wished they had gone to see OFFICE PARTY)


There are a few adjectives that could be used to describe this film, a few of which are disturbing, shocking and gripping. From the opening scene of a performance art exhibit assumedly in the gallery run by Susan Morrow ex wife , of aspiring author Tony Hastings.


The exhibit consists of a bunch of morbidly obese naked women dancing in majorette costumes. One of the premises of the film is that Susan, has given up her aspirations of being an artist for the cash-rich career of running and a lifeguard art gallery and I think this sequence underscores the difference between beauty and art and the base reality of vulgar financial gain. Just a philosophic guess.


Susan and Tony actually met, fell in love got married and divorced a couple decades ago. Once idealistic young people she became more of a jaded realist like her wealthy mother, and after a couple years tossed Tony aside for a dashing and wealthy ne'er do well.


Tony has crossed her mind a few times over the last few years but all of a sudden comes a manuscript in the mail. He's finally written the novel he'd been dreaming of. To her surprise, also to her shock, he, she and their daughter are the main characters, and like Tony Carey once sang, this is no bedtime story.


This is a shocking and gut-wrenching tale of the three being waylaid kidnapped abused raped and the women eventually killed by a group of outlaws and the subsequent legal case and climax surrounding it. This is a violent story and one of the things I thought about this film is the fact that director Tom Ford keeps almost all the grotesque violence off camera and it's still just as shocking.


Anthony's only ally is a policeman with no regard for legal methods since he is dying of lung cancer anyway.


The film switches among the novel, flashbacks to their college days and break-up and her unhappy present-day life.


The ending is enigmatic, not necessarily as bleak as some European films but close.


It's certainly not what you would call a typical action thriller but it will most certainly keep you on the edge of your seat. I thought it was brilliant, your mileage made differ.





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