Tom Ford‘s follow up to his acclaimed directorial debut A Single Man (2009) looks equally poignant and potentially even more visually stunning. The designer come director wrote the screenplay for Nocturnal Animals, which is a two hour tale which focussing on a dissatisfied yet highly successful art gallery owner Susan (Amy Adams) who receives a manuscript of a book written by her ex-husband Tony (Jake Gyllenhaal). This story thread is paralleled with a visualisation of the manuscript which Tony features as the main character in his own story about a man whose family vacation turns violent and deadly. This sparks the third thread in which Susan relives their marriage and admits that she did something horrible to Tony. Susan sees allusions to her failed marriage in the book and sees the fact that her ex-husband has sent it to her as a veiled revelation of his intentions to seek revenge. If the events that are alluded to in the trailer come to fruition, this may be the second time we will see Gyllenhaal kill someone with a vehicle following his brilliant portrayal of a psychologically damaged news reporter in Night Crawler (2014).
Also in the film are Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Ellie Bamber, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Robert Aramayo and Karl Glusman. Amy Adams appears to have once again stepped completely into the sleep deprived character with ease and rarely matched authenticity. It looks like Ford has safely proved his first film wasn’t a fluke and Nocturnal Animals, which weaves brooding, troubled characters into a compelling and exciting story with gorgeous, artistic imagery only a designer could conjure. It’s already penciled in on my list of best films of the year.
Rated R for violence, menace, graphic nudity, and language, Nocturnal Animals is released theatrically in November in the UK. You can watch the trailer below.
Amy Adams in Nocturnal Animals
Michael Shannon in Nocturnal Animals