Nocturnal Animals is directed and written by Tom Ford, starring Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Armie Hammer.

I want to start talking about that opening scene, it was quite strange to have that as an opening credits scene, having these naked women dancing for art doesn’t serve any plot point in the story, it’s just there for you don’t really know why, it is unnecessary. That’s really just the one element of the movie that is out of place.

The movie is divided in three parts that are intertwined the whole time – you have the present, the past and the book that Susan (played by Amy Adams) reads. In the present, we never see Edward (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) we only see his emails and his book, what we see in the present is Susan being at home and reading the book along with realizing her husband (played by Armie Hammer) is cheating on her. The past features the beginning, middle and end of the relationship between Susan and Edward along with how she meets her husband. The book is a fictional story featuring Edward and as we see the story unfold we understand it’s how he views his relationship with Susan, at least that’s how I interpret it.

At the beginning of the book, Tony Hastings (who is also played by Jake Gyllenhaal, Tony and Edward are the same but one is fictional and the other is real (real in the story)) is a weak guy, he doesn’t defend himself very much and let his daughter and wife be taken away by these awful people. The wife and daughter are killed and raped. Their deaths symbolizing the death of his real child that Susan did with abortion and thus making her dead for him. Then you have Lt. Andes (played by Michael Shannon) who is investigating to arrest the killers but does thing not very much according to the law, he is living in a circle of deprivation. In the end, Tony kills the man who raped his wife but kills himself accidentally.

With the past, we see how Susan and Edward fall in love and yet their relationship is doomed from the beginning, the signs are there but none of them want to see it, until it’s too late and she hurts him.

In the present, we see Susan who by reading Edward’s book of violence starts regretting having breaking up with him and she becomes absorbed by the book until the moment she decides she wants to see him again but he never shows up at the restaurant they were supposed to meet, having his final revenge on her.

The music is absolutely fantastic, it creates this atmosphere that is hypnotic much like Susan being absorbed by the book.

Amy Adams delivers a top performance and Jake Gyllenhall along with Michael Shannon are outstanding as usual! Their performances captivates you til the very end!

8.5/10 An intense movie, Tom Ford has a lot of talent for these psychological noir movies, it’s absolutely captivating and the cast is outstanding!

This review was first posted on my blog A Fistful Of Movies.

Published by Storai Thomas