Nocturnal Animals – REVIEW

WOW… Its been a week since I saw Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford’s latest film. I wanted to write the review right away but I just couldn’t do it because I didn’t really know what I had seen. This past week I have been completely haunted by this film, I just can’t seem to get it out of my brain. Firstly, the story is fantastic and extremely unique and fascinating, at times it is really quite difficult to follow but once you stick with it eventually makes sense. It takes part in 2 separate world (reality and the story of a book), however we also bare witness to flashbacks through the eyes of amy adams in the real world. On top of this, Jake Gyllenhaal plays two characters in different worlds which is actually a genius move by Tom Ford as it clarifies some of the symbolism in the film.

The acting is outstanding in Nocturnal Animals, Gyllenhaal is great, Michael Shannon is as always strange but brilliant and Adams is at her very best, I was completely captivated by her performance especially in the final scene, when without uttering a word tells us all we need to know with a 3 second close up. Now, I’m sure, like myself, a lot of people left this film very confused which is understandable as it is hard to draw the connection between the real world and the world of the book in the film and I’m going to try to shed some light on this ambiguity. So, to me the book symbolises how Gyllenhaal’s character in the non-fictional world, Edward Sheffield, felt when Adams’ character, Susan Morrow, left him and aborted his child. In the fictional world the mother represents Susan Morrow and the daughter represents her unborn child who are raped and murdered by Ray Marcus a truly evil and disgusting character played fantastically by Aaron Taylor Johnson. This occurrence represents how Sheffield felt when Morrow left him, this is much more complex but I think that I’d lose my mind trying to delve deeper.

My favourite part about this film is the ending in which Morrow has arranged to meet Sheffield after reading the book, that is dedicated to her, after many years. Sheffield doesn’t show and we are left with just a phenomenal piece of acting by Adams in which we can see her come to the realisation that the book is about what she did to Sheffield and for the first time she seems to understand how Sheffield felt, the book is Sheffield’s way of conveying to Morrow how he made him feel but it is also an act of revenge as Morrow is no haunted by the story and its meaning.

This is definitely one of my favourite films of the year and really look forward to what Ford does in the future.

8/10

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Hell or High Water – REVIEW

This neo-western film is one of the most captivating and heart wrenching movies I have ever seen. Set against the backdrop of what feels like a modern day depression we encounter two brothers who want to pay off their debt on their West Texan family ranch before it is foreclosed upon. The story follows their struggle to raise the money and what is a secluded and poor area. I don’t believe that this is an action movie or a thriller but rather a love story, a story about the eternal love between family and the lengths that we will go to for family. I found myself entranced by the stunning visual aspects of this film, by the gliding shots of the barren countryside and by the beautifully simple dialogue. Chris Pine, who plays the clever and pragmatic brother is phenomenal and Ben Foster who plays the violent and criminal brother does a fantastic job of showing a deep, meaningful side to what is very much a dangerous man. The soundtrack reflects the setting with a mix of country, bluegrass and even some classical. Without a doubt the best movie of the year so far.

9/10