Nocturnal Animals

Next film at Moving Image
Tuesday 11 April 7.30pm William Loveless Hall Wivenhoe
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS [15] 117 mins US 2016
A complex storyline, weaving love, cruelty, revenge, redemption with consummate skill.


  • The Moving Image film tomorrow,  NOCTURNAL ANIMALS has a startling opening and this gives the viewer some idea of what is to follow.  Tom Ford is a stylish director and there are many memorable images.  Three stories are skilfully woven together and each has its own style. 

    Susan (Amy Adams), is a disillusioned art dealer lives in a glass-cage modernist LA house with her handsome creep husband, Hutton (Armie Hammer). Financially, the couple are faltering; emotionally, they are falling apart.

    Out of the blue, Susan receives a package, a manuscript from her ex-husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal), which promptly gives her a paper cut, significantly drawing blood.  A sensitive soul whom Susan apparently abandoned in ‘horrible’ circumstances, Edward used to call his wife a ‘nocturnal animal’.  Now that sobriquet has become the title of his as-yet-unpublished novel, which he has dedicated to her: a visceral, anguished tale of brutal assault and ugly revenge in which a family are run off the road by rednecks in rural west Texas, with horrifying results.  This story is shown through Susan’s imagination as she reads the manuscript one weekend when her husband is away.  The third story is of the romance between Susan and Edward, their marriage and subsequent separation.

    Expanding confidently from the chamber piece confines of 2009’s A Single Man, Ford makes an impressive fist of mimicking the mood of Hitchcock, the skewed reality of Lynch, the grit of the Coen brothers, and the obsessive attention to detail of Kubrick.  Seamus McGarvey’s widescreen cinematography perfectly captures the contrasting environments of the film’s sinewy, intertwined settings, from the reflective surfaces of Susan’s LA life, to the more human hues of her past with Edward, and the cruel vistas of his own neo-noir narrative.

    7.30 pm William Loveless Hall
    Tickets (on the door only) Members £4.50, Guests £6, Students £3
    Ice-creams and wine available
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