There is no doubt that the quality of acting, and story, in Nocturnal Animals is Oscar worthy. Additionally the story is complex and leaves you with after thoughts, which are the best kind. Viewing the film is almost a mandatory event especially for those who dwell in screen craft.
The film doesn’t make you feel good. The film is dark and sinister. Amy Adams’ character (Susan Morrow) is cold and calculating, and even when she makes her final veiled attempt in the end she is reminded that she is lost, and has turned the meekest soul she encounters into a tepid bastard.
The genius of Nocturnal Animals is in the delivery and sequence of the parallel stories. The stories rely and feed on each other. They have nuggets in them that leave you questioning character motives. I really can’t give any more away. Don’t watch or read spoilers. You should see the film.
It seems with each review of Amy Adams I keep repeating my views on her brilliance, this review is no different. Perhaps in the future I will write words on a movie I dislike, that she is in; however, if the future follows current trends I think that is a narrow possibility.
Jake Gyllenhaal handles emotion very well. From a giggle to a sob he can invoke any emotion. If I were to go into every crevice, only to pull out a weakness, because I feel it a duty to be thorough, then I think the Tony Hastings and Edward Sheffield characters would be the item I would choose. There is no lack of quality acting in Tony and Edward, but there characters are very predictable given there affable and meek personalities. So much so they almost become a little bit of an annoyance, like a person in line at a fast food restaurant that can’t make up there mind. Finally, I believe the genius of the Susan Morrow’s character is that she points out these annoyances, and solidifies her character traits in her over-reaction to them.
So take a dip into Nocturnal Animals, but take a shower after, and then watch a romantic comedy, or hug a loved one, to balance its tartness.