Nocturnal Animals, written and directed by Tom Ford, is a dramatic thriller about a writer whose violent novel has his ex wife wondering if he may be seeking revenge for their failed marriage. The film features acting performances from Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer, Karl Glusman, Robert Aramayo, and Laura Linney.
Amy Adams. Jake Gyllenhaal. Michael Shannon. Aaron Taylor-Johnson. This group of actors should pretty much guarantee success given how much talent they each possess. Unfortunately, you also have to have a good story to make a complete movie and for me, this one just doesn't cut it. Ford is actually telling two stories concurrently, one being the real world that Adams and Gyllenhaal's characters live in and then there's the visual representation of the book that plays out concurrently. I actually liked the book's story way better than the actual drama that unfolds which is just dark and dreary and doesn't really go anywhere.
I feel like Ford was depending on the roster of talent he assembled to carry the picture but really only Gyllenhaal gives any sort of standout effort, as he always does. Adams is just depressing and quite disappointing in this role, especially when you put her performance here up next to the amazing effort she puts into Arrival which is in theaters at the same time. I liked Michael Shannon's character although it's basically just him being cool and bad ass which really isn't much of a stretch and his mustache is also pretty impressive so there's that.
Nocturnal Animals is a good movie and it has some very interesting twists and turns, it just wasn't the intense thriller I had expected it to be. If you like this type of movie, you will probably enjoy it, I just don't want you to have too high of an expectation going in.