Nocturnal Animals Review

Updated on February 23, 2017
Nocturnal Animals poster
Nocturnal Animals poster

Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals is a psychological, neo-noir thriller written, directed, and co-produced by Tom Ford. The leads of the film are Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams. Gallery owner Susan Morrow is handed a manuscript given to her by her ex-husband. The manuscript is actually based on the novel of which the movie is based on. The film splits itself between two narratives in the real world and the novel.

The story is filled with violence and melancholy. Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) who is in a dead-end marriage is cynical and depressed. She threw away her happiness because of logistics. She focuses on her work to distract her from her husband's infidelity. The other protagonist Tony Hastings (Jake Gyllenhaal), is a calm, peaceful man who loves his family dearly. Unfortunately, he and his family run into three dangerous criminals who impose there wills on him and his family.

The movie has a considerable amount of frightening scenes in Tony Hasting's storyline which show the film's noir roots. One lengthy scene, features Tony as his family is harassed on a dark road. The scene shows how truly wicked human beings can be. It is uncomfortable, heartbreaking, and disheartening. You feel just as helpless as Tony—perhaps even more.The film is heavily fatalistic. As you watch, you would feel as if things were "supposed to" be this way.

Susan Morrow (Amy Adams)
Susan Morrow (Amy Adams)

Tony and Susan

Cleverly reflected in the film's marketing poster, the film is exceptional on how it handles its dual narrative. Interchangeably, the film tells its modern story with its protagonist Susan Sorrow and its manuscript/novel story with its protagonist Tony Hastings. The plot is carefully written in a way that avoids confusion. We see Susan Morrow receive the manuscript from her ex-husband (Edward). Whenever she reads the script, the flashbacks start. Each flashback sequence ends with a reaction of Susan. Due to skillfull editing, there are even moments in the film where we see Susan feel Tony's pain. Tony and Susan are connected even though they are in two different story spaces which is what makes the film exceptional.

Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) #2
Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) #2

Noir

Nocturnal Animals' roots in film noir is prominently shown everywhere. First, the cinematography is really dark. Amy Adams' makeup and wardrobe is telling. She wears dark colors and dark makeup (black eyeshadow and black nail polish). There are dark clouds, roads, skylines, and sunsets. The film is never too brightly lit and always has a underlying tone of sadness. The music is mysterious and somber. It's dialogue is bleak and memorable. It is meant to teach us to not be so pessimistic (even thought the film is heavily so).

Tony Hastings (Jake Gyllenhaal)
Tony Hastings (Jake Gyllenhaal)

Closing

The film highest points are driven home with performances by Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Michael Shannon. Amy brings Susan to life by conveying high amounts of emotion through her subtitle actions and stares. Jake Gyllenhaal brings Tony to life with every scene he is in. He portrays sorrow, guilt, and anger effortlessly. Michael Shannon plays Bobby Andres like a character straight from an old western and does it flawlessly. Overall, Nocturnal Animals is not a film you see if you want a pep me up. It is a film you see if you want an engaging crime story and psychological drama. If you want to think about humanity and the choices we make, then this is the film for you.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        Thomas 14 months ago

        On some level, Nocturnal Animals is about the war between the link between morality and reality’s origin and the ability of that link. Alternatively, one can look at Nocturnal Animals as being about the moral need to end the duplication of cause, because that way the original cause has a right to become violent.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)