Nocturnal Animals is a movie worth seeing. This haunting romantic drama starring Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon and Aaron Taylor-Johnson was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival and I completely understand why. This movie was one that kept me guessing throughout the entire plot; it was extremely hard to predict what would happen next, and that’s what made me enjoy it so much. Not to mention the fact that the film was filled with underlying meanings and hidden messages. Nocturnal Animals is definitely a movie you don’t want to miss!
The basic plot consists of a middle aged art gallery worker named Susan, played by Amy Adams, who receives a copy of her ex-husband’s new book titled Nocturnal Animals. Susan’s ex-husband, Tony, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, dedicates his novel to her; he calls her a nocturnal animal because she never sleeps. Susan reads the book and is reminded of the good and bad memories of her past marriage, the most pressing one being the terrible thing she did to him that’s revealed near the end of the movie. She is constantly haunted by her cruel actions and is never able to forgive herself for past mistakes.
One interesting aspect of the film is how the plot of the novel is depicted. The time frame switches around often, from the present, to the past, and then to the time period of the novel. You’d think that this would make the movie difficult to understand, but this technique works incredibly well. The transitions were easily understood, as well as seamless and artistic. The differing time frames also added an incredible layer of depth to the plot.
The combination of Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal was perfect. They had a great on-screen connection during the happy parts of the relationship and vice versa. The growing tension throughout the movie was devastatingly heartbreaking as the relationship went through rough patches. I couldn’t think of a better pair to play this couple.
I left the theater unable to think of anything else but the complex plot and failed love. I’m sure this film will be around for a while, as it’s artistic depth and agonizing scenes will be adored by audiences.
Make sure to see this hauntingly beautiful movie when it came to theaters on November 9th!
Check out the official trailer below!