Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals ★★½

Tom Ford's second feature, Nocturnal Animals, is visually stunning; with an intoxicatingly cold style that serves the contextual narrative fairly well. But the blatant and aggressive goal of the film is craft a compelling look at depravity, vulgarity and weakness; the dark regions of the human soul. But this exploration is crushingly soul-deep, absolutely shallow in nature without authenticity or nuance behind this "message's" deliverance. It's gratuitously cruel, constantly asking us to look past some unjustified vulgarity in the name of a promised payoff that never comes. The excess of ridiculousness could easily be mistaken for subverted substance, I think, but this thing is empty. Tom Ford knows how to draw the dots. Great turns by Gyllenhaal, Shannon and Adams, some visual splendor and compelling narrative threads are evident; this is almost a good movie. But he is by no means capable of connecting those dots.

2016 Ranked

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