The word of the street that the new film “Nocturnal Animals” co-starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhall was terrifically good yet terrifically scary.
“I don’t do scary movies” HOWEVER 2 astute movie fan pals shared it is an “implied” scary and it is all about the tension. So I got ready. Just in case, I removed by trademark baseball hat from my head and covered my face with the hat during the entire movie (viewing the film through the small holein the back of the hat).
No doubt, the scariest part of the movie was in the opening montage. A beige color image is on the screen and the camera starts fading back. The image is moving and you realize it is a body part..wait its a nude body part…wait, its a full nude person dancing…wait it is a montage of 4-5 full front nude ladies dancing… wait, they are all immensely, obesely overweight!! Yup, that was downright scary (and I’m really not sure what had to do with the film except they were part of the art gallery exhibition and Adams is the gallery owner).
Seriously, there are some very scary, intense, harrowing scenes and they really work. Most of the gruesomest stuff happens off camera.
This was an exceptional tight, well crafted, engaging film. Adams is now on her 2nd marriage and despite having all the desired affluence, things are not good. She blew off husband #1 many years prior (predicted by her Mom during her courtship”.
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Years later, as marriage #2 is falling apart, out of nowhere, Edward (Gyllenhaal), sends her a copy of his 1st book titled “Nocturnal Animal” … his nickname for her (Adams).
Then the film goes from modern day, to the early days with Edward to the visual of the book. Folks this is a tense thriller that really works, isn’t to complicated and beautifully casted. As good as Adams and Gyllenhall are, the casting of Michael Shannon as a dying, non-rule following, West Texas law enforcement officer is the cherry on the cake.
Watch out the book impacts Adams as she reflects on her own life journey and her hope to make things right. A most intriguing psycho-thriller that keeps ones eyes wide open. Really enjoyed.