Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals ★★★½

Nocturnal Animals is a really good movie. I loved a lot of things about it. It encapsulates the idea of revenge very well in such a unique way. It’s well-shot, nicely performed, and decently directed. Revenge isn’t the only thing this film tackles, of course. It goes over stuff like happiness, societal expectations etc. Loved the performances. Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal both prove, yet again, why they’re some of the best actors of this generation. Shannon and Johnson were also tremendous.

I mean, come on. Sending your ex a really well-made novel centralizing metaphors about their past relationship, thus proving her wrong about his capabilities as a writer while simultaneously keeping her awake late at night is a really good revenge story. But to make things even spicier, they agree to have dinner together only for him not to show up. Bad-ass

I don’t really mind how predictable and average the book story was, because the way i see it, I’d rather prioritize appreciating how it adds another layer of dimension to how Jake Gyllenhaal felt about Amy Adams. But I do agree in the sense that, it definitely would’ve been better if more thought had been put into the thriller-side of the film. It felt unimaginative at times. 

That’s kinda where one of my main issues with film come in. I love the metaphors, and the way they explore it is really cool. But because the entire story latches onto this big melodramatic metaphor, it would’ve been so much better to have grabbed more insight into the relationship it’s addressing. For example: Gyllenhaal dying at the end of the book is a metaphor of how he’s no longer the ‘weak’ person or whatever Amy Adams ever pictured him as. Because of this choice, we forget how ridiculous it is for him to die by tripping over and accidentally shooting himself. It’s all for the sake of that damn metaphor I guess. I’m sorry, the relationship did not work for me as much as it did for a lot of people. It’s hard to make a connection to something over nonstop analogies, parallels and metaphorical expressions.

Another issue would be: how too on the nose a lot of the stuff can be. I know plenty of people have pointed it out, but it really is the biggest weakness of the film. That entire crib-camera scene was really bad. A movie that hinges hard on metaphors shouldn’t be this unsubtle. It uses Amy Adams ‘not sleeping’ as an excuse to justify not remembering this gigantic painting spelling out the word “REVENGE” in a hallway she most likely passes through everyday she goes to work. The paper-cut was an excellent way to somewhat hint malicious intentions. That was all the film needed really.

Trust me, I really did like a lot of the things it tired to do. It deserves a lot of credit, especially knowing the fact that film-making was never really what Tom Ford was known for. He was very passionate about it, I’m glad he was able to make such a good film. The man has only made two films as a director, and both are really good. I really wanna keep seeing more movies made by him. He’s had a good streak, as of now

Arnon🪐 liked this review