Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.
Tuesday, 4 July 2017
Nocturnal Animals, 2016
Another polarishing experience - a movie one will either love or hate, as per 20TH CENTURY WOMEN (see below). Tom Ford's NOCTURNAL ANIMALS was one of the big hitters of the last award season, but I had put off seeing it for a while. I somehow felt it was not for me. His previous film, A SINGLE MAN, in 2010, was equally polarising, glamorising Christopher Isherwood's downbeat modern classic of crumpled middle-aged folk - hard to believe Colin Firth or Julianne Moore here, and the plot had major changes too - as per my review at the time (see A SINGLE MAN/ Ford labels) - there being no gun or suicide intent in Isherwood's original, and the whole thing being far too glamorous and high fashion for its 1962 setting. But enough of that ...
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS may be among the darkest films I have seen - meaning that lots of it take place in the dark and one can barely see what is happening ...
A "story inside a story," in which the first part follows a woman named Susan who receives a book manuscript from her ex-husband, a man whom she left 20 years earlier, asking for her opinion. The second element follows the actual manuscript, called "Nocturnal Animals," which revolves around a man whose family vacation turns violent and deadly. It also continues to follow the story of Susan, who finds herself recalling her first marriage and confronting some dark truths about herself.
Two stories dovetail here: one in which art gallery curator Amy Adams, who seems to lead a glacial existence in her art gallery and perfect home, receives a manuscript from her estranged husband Jake Gyllenhaal and then we see the story within the script as she reads it ... as it follows a man who suffers tragedy out in the Texan wilderness, as his family is abducted, and his mission to seek vengeance on the scuzzy lowlifes, with the aid of a local lawman Michael Shannon. It goes from noir to thriller but remains a disjointed melodrama. Adams and Gyllenhaal shine and we gone a scene each from Laura Linney and Michael Sheen. But what does it all add up to? Right: Tom Ford's 2006 VANITY FAIR Hollywood issue.