About – Susan an arts dealer receives a manuscript from her ex husband Edward that is a dark and bloody tale, while Susan is reading this story she starts thinking about the past with Edward and feels the pain she is going through from the story and reality.
Nocturnal Animals is an adaptation of Austin Wrights novel “Tony & Susan”. Tom Ford read the book and wanted to make this part of a two series film but came up with the idea of making it into one feature film. Tom created the screenplay and directed Nocturnal Animals through a seven year gap from his debut film ‘A Single Man’.
The opening scene is very strange and confusing but if you look at it this way then maybe there is more to the film than first thought. As Susan an arts dealer and Tom Ford a fashion designer, this opening scene can be seen as a strange opener or is it down to their fields the characters and where Tom Ford has come from and the stigma around it?
The film touches on some of the most unbelievable topics such as loneliness, depression, insomnia, paranoia and revenge. These are just a handful of topics that Nocturnal Animals touches on, which is perfect for this sociological thriller. All these topics are through Susan she is the one that holds this whole film together and always relates back too.
Tom Ford as previously mentioned is the screenplay writer and director. Tom is most well known for building a billion dollar fashion clothing line, however back in 2009 he broke through into the film industry with ‘A Single Man’, push forward seven years and here is his second featured film Nocturnal Animals. Without a doubt Tom has had a massive influence on this film, you can see where his hard work and thinking applies during the film. Tom said on the red carpet in an interview and mentioned the meaning behind the film “in our society when we don’t like someone at work we fire them, in a relationship we end it, friends we leave, its about giving them people the chance and not throwing them away”. With this statement from Tom himself, you can see where he is coming from about the meaning of the film. However it’s the metaphors of the story from Edward to Susan that really plays with your mind. It’s the questions that Nocturnal Animals leave you with, what happened to Edward. What does Susan do after this? The whole film could be a metaphor for something more meaningful than what Tom said. Personally I think it’s too perfect to mean what Tom mentioned, there is far too much going on and meaning in certain scenes, certain colour lightening used on faces, with just these points it is just too easy to say just giving people that chance.
Jake Gyllenhaal who played Edward & Tony this will be explained later on… was in an interview and said “that Edward and Tony are a large part of Thomas (Tom Ford)… there is a lot of vulnerability and sensitivity and he is tortured in a lot of ways but a writer”. With the previous paragraph with the confusion of what the film meant Jake came up with his own small theory on Tom within the film, with what Jake said this could mean that Tom wanted to put his own emotions in the film through the characters of Edward & Tony, this is rather interesting due to the behaviour of Edward & Tony throughout the film. You can imagine Tom would be like this ‘vulnerable and sensitive’ with what Tom does being a fashion designer. His work goes past quickly and you’re being judged upon the items you wear, whereas film there is so much more to critique but Tom felt confident doing film because it takes time to perfect. Therefore maybe Tom did put personal emotions into the screenplay.
As said previously Susan is the one that holds this whole film together, she is the focus point throughout, if it wasn’t for her this film wouldn’t work. Susan is played by Amy Adams, who fits this role so perfect with her sad eyes and being a sensitive emotional person.
Jake Gyllenhaal played Edward, Susan’s ex husband and Tony the main character in the manuscript. Jake plays these two roles perfectly maybe Oscar worthy, he looks the part in all these roles and scenes, Jake really makes this film worthwhile you can see that he wants the best out of these characters for himself and Tom, it looks like he can really relate to the characters emotionally. This might sound confusing but it worked so well, it was perfect that he played both because of certain scenes it explains why this is happened (if you catch it). With this Isla Fisher played Tonys wife (in the manuscript) which was perfection thanks to Tom Ford, this was a representation of Susan… you see where this is going? Many people get confused between Amy Adams and Isla Fisher both with ginger hair and petite being their only similarities, however what Tom has done here bringing these two together for that only reason is perfection and very wise.
The cinematography was done by Seamus McGarvey, it is the most perfected film I have seen within this sort of genre in a while, and it was sharply done. There is one criticism it looks too perfect for certain scenes which is very contradictory but it felt too styled but worked. It’s very confusing to understand this but it was shot beautifully and captured the right amount of style for Tom Ford’s second feature. The score was done by Abel Korzeniowski that has worked with Ford before, it has the scenes of James Bond when it follows Susan and with the style of the film it fits perfectly. When the film goes into the manuscript it is all fast pace and heart wrenching and that is for the audience to feel what Tony is feeling also.
Nocturnal Animals is a stylish modern take of the novel ‘Tony and Susan’ done by Tom Ford who has done a brilliant job at this creation. Everything from the narrative to the mise-en-scene to the score to the performances, is amazing. Everything about this film is superb and a must see.