“Among the many many things I love about living in LA now, I think one of the coolest is the potential for special appearances. In Boston, I’d get to get to screenings with filmmakers or actors once or twice a year. Here, they occur regularly. So I was able to go to a screening of Nocturnal Animals with writer/director (and fashion designer) Tom Ford answering questions after. Also, had I been paying more attention, I could have flipped my double feature schedule and seen producer Matt Damon at Manchester By the Sea, but alas, I’ll hafta wait until later to see him. I’m sure it’ll happen.
But we’re not here to lament missing Matt Damon. We’re here to talk about Tom Ford and Nocturnal Animals. First off, let me just say how I’ve been anxiously awaiting Ford’s long overdue follow up to A Single Man. I cannot say enough good things about that film, from how beautiful and stylish it looked and felt, to the compelling and emotional story, to one of the most shocking and affecting endings I’ve ever experienced. I feel like if anyone could earn their way onto my favorite directors list with just one movie, it’d be Ford for A Single Man.
Nocturnal Animals is even more my speed. It’s darker and goes more towards psychological thriller (yay!), plus it stars Amy Adams and Jake “”Donnie Darko”” Gyllenhaal (yay!!). Adams is an art dealer living a very cold and stoic life in a cold and stoic world. She receives a package from her ex-husband (Gyllenhaal) and finds in it the manuscript for a book he’s written. She dives deep into the pages of a story about a family attacked on the side of the road and starts to see an unsettling parallel between his characters and their previous life together.
There’s really three parts to the film: Amy reading in the present, Jake’s story, and flashbacks to their backstory. While the three have very different events occurring, there’s still a connection between them and reactions that are felt across each. Ford pointed out a couple examples after the film where there’d be an event in one timeline, which would cut to a scene in the next that somehow had an appropriate response to what was previously on screen despite them occurring independently. Pretty cool.
Even though this one may seem more my style, I’d still prefer A Single Man. That intimate film had far more substance than this more ambitious outing. But at the very least, this was gorgeous to look at. It’s Ford’s special touch that keeps this from being just a run of the mill thriller and instead makes it visually stunning.
Nocturnal Animals – \m/ \m/ \m/”