By Shelby Fielding (Lubbock, Texas, US)


Nocturnal Animals: Beautiful Metaphorical & Analogical Filmmaking

Nocturnal Animals is directed by Tom Ford and stars Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. This is a metaphorical analogical artsy film that dissects the thematic ideals of vengeance, jealousy, regret, and freedom. This film follows three separate yet cohesive narratives of the present, the past, and the fictional perspective of a character.

The present narrative focuses on the character of Susan Morrow, played by Amy Adams, and how her marriage has arrived at a turning point. Then she receives a novel written by her ex-husband that is dedicated to her, in which she then begins to read. This launches are other two narratives of the fictional narrative which is what she’s reading and how she’s perceiving it in her perspective. The other being, her real past experiences with her ex-husband. This is a stunningly written, open-ended, thought provoking, artsy, amazingly directed, beautifully performed, and metaphorically visually satisfying film.

This is a film that makes you think about every minute detail and aspect of the film. I love this type of filmmaking, because it’s a movie that every time you watch it you learn new things about it and you see it through a different perspective. And, this films does that beautifully by not only offering metaphorical visuals, but also analogical dialogue. Where certain phrases and words hint and symbolize things of another narrative. As far as filmmaking goes, Tom Ford directed the crap out of this movie. There is not one shot, one frame, one sequence that is out of place. Everything shot has a specific reason for being there in the film. And, it is so rare to see that in movies today with all the big blockbusters we get I feel as if the general audience is now too accustomed to film being good just because it has superheroes, star wars, explosions, and fun.

The editing is incredible, because this film is telling three separate narratives that are also intertwined with one another. They did a brilliant job of making the editing seamless, and it made the transitions between narratives almost completely seamless. The performances were all perfect. Jake Gyllenhaal is amazing of course, I am a huge fan of his work and he definitely deserves to be nominated for an award in my opinion. Amy Adams delivers her second Oscar-worthy performance of the year, which blows me away that this woman is on her A game and I wouldn’t be shocked if she got nominated for either Arrival or Nocturnal Animals. Aaron Taylor-Johnson made me feel so uncomfortable and sick with his performance, which shows just how great of a performance he had in the film.

I felt as if his character was next to me in the theatre, and I could feel this slime washing over me. It was truly a creepy and eerie character to watch. Michael Shannon once again blows me away with his performance. He is truly on a warpath to get recognized as a serious actor and I hope the best for him during award season as well as the rest of this cast. I also really enjoyed the score of this film as well. It really helped bring out those emotions that the film’s narrative is trying to flush out. The only flaws I have with the film is really some of the metaphorical analogies are a little too obvious. But, even though they are obvious you get the sense they are meant to be that way. And, it feels like that because of the masterful direction by Tom Ford.

This is a film that I feel the general public will reject, but most critics will love to death. This is the art of filmmaking at its best. By using excellent filmmaking techniques to not only bring emotion out of its audience, but also makes you desire to rewatch the film to see if you can learn things you didn’t notice the first time. I cannot wait to get this film on Blu-ray and I’m going to give Nocturnal Animals an A+. What’s your favorite artsy film? Why do you think the general audience rejects these types of movies? Let me know down in the comments below and as always have a blessed day.

Rating: 5/5



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