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Friday
Nov182016

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

I adore Nocturnal Animals with all my head, if not all my heart. Like The Neon Demon from earlier this year, Tom Ford’s densely layered adaptation of Austin Wright’s book, Tony and Susan, comments on superficiality by indulging in it. When Susan (Amy Adams), a frustrated gallery owner trapped in a loveless marriage, receives a manuscript from ex-husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal), her empty, high-society life melds with a fictitious tale of kidnapping, murder, and revenge. Nocturnal Animals is actually three distinct films in one. Ford’s visual and narrative playfulness recall The Usual Suspects, No Country for Old Men, and Bret Easton Ellis’ early novels. The result is a thematically bold, karmic carpet-yank that bewilders both the characters and the audience. In the end, we become Susan: stunned, embarrassed, and more than a little numb from having backed the wrong horse and gotten kicked.

Listen to Kicking the Seat Podcast #170 for an in-depth discussion of Nocturnal Animals with Keeping it Reel's David Fowlie!

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