Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals ★★

40

AKA "let's get Amy Adams and have her remove her glasses for two hours."

Some random thoughts:

1. This feels like a debut in the worst way, which is odd considering A Single Man was one of the best of the 2000s decade. To expand, it reeks of pastiche; a Lynchian/Coen thrill ride with all the pulpy orange juice squeezed out.

2. Ford connects all the minor details and forgets *entirely* about the big picture resonance and impact of the intertwined stories. A seamless experience until it begins to cut back and forth and make connections (ie: most of the movie).

3. Michael Shannon and Aaron Taylor-Johnson are the only two people in this thing who understand its basis in slimy grime and uneasy exploitation, but Ford refuses to go down such a route, resulting in two great performances that seemingly wandered onto the wrong set.

4. And Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal? Oooof, about as lifeless as the plastic bag from American Beauty. You'd think Amy could stir some life into an art mogul subjected to her past via a revenge novel written by her ex-husband, but the hollowed is seen as dull and the immovable is seen as half-assed interiority. She's awful and Gyllenhaal - with his anguished wails and spouts of crying ripped right out of one of his future Oscar endeavors - isn't much better.

5. This wasn't a movie where I knew where it was gonna go. I just didn't care. At least it's kinda pretty?

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