Review: “Nocturnal Animals”

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PHOTO/FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Armie Hammer, Amy Adams, Tom Ford, Isla Fisher and Aaron Taylor-Johnson at the premiere of "Nocturnal Animals"

Michael Ambrosino, General Manager, Entertainment Editor

Of all the great films 2016 had offered us moviegoers, “Nocturnal Animals” is perhaps one of the more unforgettable ones. It’s a thing of beauty; a spellbinding psychological thriller that claws its way into your head and lingers there, haunting you for days and weeks later.

Believe me, you’ll want to see this film more than once.

Written and directed by famous fashion designer-turned-filmmaker Tom Ford, “Nocturnal Animals” elegantly and ingeniously explores themes of revenge, regret, fear and desire. It’s a taut, endlessly moving and suspenseful story that’s presented in three plot threads, each of which resonate with a powerful, horrific sense of dread.

The film follows Susan (played wonderfully by Amy Adams – who’s two-for-two this year with this film and “Arrival”), an art dealer who is sent a manuscript of her ex-husband, Edward’s (played by Jake Gyllenhaal), new novel, titled “Nocturnal Animals.” The novel’s extreme violence both bothers Susan and resonates with her, as it relates to an experience she’s shared with Edward while they were married.

Ford expertly jumps back and forth between the film’s three plot threads – present-day Susan, the events happening in the novel and Susan’s flashbacks – without ever losing balance and manages to pull raw drama out from each of them.

One is guaranteed to exit “Nocturnal Animals” thinking and, if you’re not alone, communicating. It’s a captivating film that carries viewers to very dark places.