Film No. 67 (2016) October 27th. 6.45 PM Greater Union Event Cinema, Innaloo.
"When you love someone, you have to be careful with it, you may never get it again". (Edward explains a philosophy of his to his first love, Susan, in their early years together).
This stylish drama by second time director Tom Ford (A Single Man) takes the audience on a journey of revenge in a wonderfully original manner. From the bizarre opening images of large, gyrating female forms to the thrilling story within a story, to the inevitable concluding wide angle shot, there is a lot to like about Nocturnal Animals.
The surprise is, Ford has taken seven years to get back to film making. He is a fashion icon so perhaps he uses that to give him financial security before taking the inevitable risks aligned to feature film making. It's worth the wait because he takes beautiful people, dresses them with sheer style then blends them into an unreal world of treacherous self obsession where they hope they'll achieve happiness. At least that's the set up for this journey with Susan Morrow (Amy Adams).
Susan is a gallery owner who craves adulation for every exhibition she hosts. Her 19 year marriage to drop dead handsome Hutton (Armie Hammer) is tired and she has regrets about her past, more particularly, the way she betrayed her first love Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal). We learn all this via Edward's manuscript, Nocturnal Animals, which he sends an advance copy of to Susan for reasons that become more obvious with every page she turns.
Because the thriller plays out scene by scene, Susan's life and then a scene from the manuscript as Susan takes up from where she last left off, it becomes a "can't put it down" scenario. We are always anxious to get back to Edward's story. I'm trying not to delve too far into this highly original film. Michael Shannon turns up as the white hatted hero via the thrilling manuscript. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the tormented figure and lead for good reason. All will be revealed as you watch. Film lovers shouldn't miss Nocturnal Animals. It's stylish, it's thrilling, it's clever and it's all communicated via Susan a person we ultimately don't care much for in any case. 11GUMS.