woensdag 28 december 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 168: Nocturnal Animals

Director: Tom Ford
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Runtime: 117 minutes
Year: 2016
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon, Isla Fisher, Laura Linney, Armie Hammer, Michael Sheen, Andrea Riseborough

Description: An art gallery owner (Amy Adams) is haunted by her ex-husband's (Jake Gyllenhaal) novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a veiled threat and a symbolic revenge tale.

Review: Fashion designer Tom Ford proved with his film debut, “A Single Man”, that he isn’t only good with a needle and a sketchbook. The film was a masterpiece, not only from esthetic perspective. But also the themes and the characters were delicate and had depth. Ford took his time to direct his second film. “Nocturnal Animals” also focusses on relationships, regret and nostalgia to old romance. But it’s completely different movie.
At first sight it looks like art gallery owner Susan Morrow has it all. A good job, a beautiful house and a loving and handsome husband. But nothing is as it seems. Financially she isn’t doing well and she is estranged from her husband Hutton, who cheats on her while on a business trip. When Susan gets a message from her ex-husband Edward and he sends her a manuscript of his novel, she starts looking back on the life she once had. Susan left Edward for Hutton and hasn’t seen him in nineteen years. In Edwards’book, he tells the story of Tony Hastings and his family who are harassed by a group of criminials, while on the road. While Susan reads this story, she remember the life she had with Edward.
The story lines couldn’t be any different, but also have an emotional connection. Susan’s is more introvert and has a lot of thought in it. While Tony’s is extravert and explicit. Surprisingly enough, there is a perfect balance between those storylines. Tony is on a mission and has to find peace, while Susan has urges and desire but doesn’t show it.
Again Tom Ford manages to tell an esthetic story, but also enters the soul of the characters and the audience. Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal (the last has a double role) are both very strong in “Nocturnal Animals”. Michael Shannon is also worth mentioning. Aaron Taylory-Johnson plays one of the worst characters I’ve seen in a long time, what a terrible person. Great performance as well.
“Nocturnal Animals” is a film that gets under your skin.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

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