Welcome to what will hopefully be a weekly series, the series where I review movies as if someone cares.(Story of my life, right there.)
Today, I watched Nocturnal Animals. Feral beast or Disgusting vermin, let’s find out.
After receiving a draft copy of her ex-husband’s novel, which follows a man on a path of vengeance after his wife and daughter were murdered and raped, a modern artist starts to suspect a sinister side to her past.
There are very few films that can test an audience so strongly in the opening shot. Nocturnal Animals starts off with a large 60 year old woman dancing in an art exhibit… naked. At this point, the audience will be split in two:
- One side who thinks something along the lines of: “Okay, I’m just gonna sneak next door and watch Doctor Strange.”
- The other side who thinks something along the lines of: “Okay, where is this gonna’ end up?”
I was part of the latter side, thankfully.
Nocturnal Animals is a film of ethereal craft. Nocturnal Animals is one of those films where you point at the cast and say: “These are actors.” Then point to the director and say: “This is an artist.” Tom Ford’s direction is both sensually beautiful and rustically surreal, the way in which the film handles its non-linear plot is perfectly done.
To claim that the actors and actresses are all on the top of their game would be to claim that the American election is turning a tad lethargic.(That’s all the political satire that you’ll get from me, hope you enjoyed it.)
Never has Kick Ass been more kick-ass, this is a dynamite turn for Aaron Taylor-Johnson, completely diverting from that youthful innocence vibe that has plagued him for quite some time. My main man Michael Shannon plays the Michael Shannon character; speaks with his stares, whispers gravelly, found in mainland America holding a gun, he has this character down and I am wildly entertained by him.
Seamus McGarvey’s cinematography serves to further enhance Tom Ford’s visual prowess. The two create vivid imagery with such depth that it will engross that half of the audience who haven’t scampered off to see Inception, starring Sherlock Holmes.
However, I did have issues with the film’s editing. The film tends go from long, stationary takes to shaky handheld quick cuts. I’m not dismissing the scenes which used handheld cinematography well, those scenes often leaned towards long, piercingly uncomfortable takes, whereas the shaky quick cuts just seemed to blur in between scenes. Also, I thought that the sound design was rather poor. I would often find myself picking up on a crackle when certain actors would speak.(For those of you who don’t know, that crackle is caused by ADR.) Who needs a second take anyway?
Despite that, Nocturnal Animals is a great film by an even greater craftsman.