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The Films of Tom Ford

A Single Man

Click here for review.

Nocturnal Animals (November 19/16)

Based on a book by Austin Wright, Nocturnal Animals follows Amy Adams' Susan Morrow as she receives a manuscript from an ex-boyfriend (Jake Gyllenhaal's Edward) and is disturbed by the story's violent nature - with the bulk of the movie exploring the content of that story (which follows a married father of two, also played by Gyllenhaal, as he's forced to battle white-trash psychopaths). It's perhaps not surprising to note that Nocturnal Animals gets off to a somewhat underwhelming start, as the film, much like Ford's debut feature, A Single Man, boasts an opening stretch that's perhaps just a little too ostentatiously arty for its own good - with Ford emphasizing the more ridiculous aspects of Adams' character's existence, including her over-the-top clothing, pretentious art-gallery work, and assortment of pompous upper-crust friends (ie it all comes off as a less-than-subtle satire of the art world and its absurd denizens). It's clear, then, that Nocturnal Animals improves considerably as it progresses; the Adams storyline slowly-but-surely develops an unexpectedly emotional undercurrent, while the Gyllenhaal subplot, which also contains a typically captivating Michael Shannon performance, starts off with an incredibly tense sequence and only grows more and more engrossing from there. The impressively intense atmosphere ensures that Nocturnal Animals is ultimately as wrenching as it is absorbing, and it is, in the end, clear that Ford's now two-for-two record confirms his place as a seriously promising new filmmaker.

out of

© David Nusair