117 minutes, Mystery Drama/Thriller
This story is taken from the 1993 novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright, which didn’t become popular until its UK publication in 2010. As fashion designer and writer/director Tom Ford so beautifully illustrated in his 2009 debut feature A SINGLE MAN, creating a work of arresting and artistic visual beauty is evidently second nature to him and again so finely demonstrated in just his second feature film, NOCTURNAL ANIMALS. Amy Adams stars as Susan, an art gallery owner that receives a novel as a gift from her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal), whom she has been long divorced from. As she reads the graphic and violent book that he has written and dedicated to her, Susan begins to perceive the events as an indirect and personal threat.
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS casts an irresistible and undeniably hypnotic stranglehold over its audience as its layered plot further develops stories that are separate yet somehow relevant to each other. Mystique and intrigue are summoned to the fullest extent as Tom Ford’s screenplay chronicles the opening storyline told in the present, plays out events in the book and takes us back to the days man and wife were once in love. Several elements of the movie are intended to puzzle to the same high degree they will spellbind the viewer. And certainly heightening this attractive production is both the sound design and the cinematography, along with several immaculate acting performances from a varied and appealing cast. The only facet of this Venice Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner that could (and in most cases will) soften the overall impact and impression of the film is the conclusion, which is bound to be either too elusive or unfulfilling.
3.5 out of 5
MA15+ – Strong Themes and Nudity
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS also contains violence, menace, coarse language and the nudity is very graphic.
Moviedoc wishes to thank Linda from Universal Pictures, Universal Pictures and The Backlot Studios for the invitation to the Preview Screening of NOCTURNAL ANIMALS.
Review by Moviedoc
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