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Nocturnal Animals (2016)

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A wealthy art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband's novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a symbolic revenge tale.

Director:

Tom Ford

Writers:

Tom Ford (screenplay by), Austin Wright (novel)
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Popularity
626 ( 116)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 144 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amy Adams ... Susan Morrow
Jake Gyllenhaal ... Tony Hastings / Edward Sheffield
Michael Shannon ... Bobby Andes
Aaron Taylor-Johnson ... Ray Marcus
Isla Fisher ... Laura Hastings
Ellie Bamber ... India Hastings
Armie Hammer ... Hutton Morrow
Karl Glusman ... Lou
Robert Aramayo ... Turk
Laura Linney ... Anne Sutton
Andrea Riseborough ... Alessia
Michael Sheen ... Carlos
Bobbi Salvör Menuez ... Samantha Morrow (as India Menuez)
Imogen Waterhouse ... Chloe
Franco Vega ... Driver
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Storyline

A "story inside a story," in which the first part follows a woman named Susan who receives a book manuscript from her ex-husband, a man whom she left 20 years earlier, asking for her opinion. The second element follows the actual manuscript, called "Nocturnal Animals," which revolves around a man whose family vacation turns violent and deadly. It also continues to follow the story of Susan, who finds herself recalling her first marriage and confronting some dark truths about herself.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When you love someone you can't just throw it away

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, menace, graphic nudity, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 December 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tony and Susan See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$492,648, 18 November 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$10,639,114, 20 January 2017

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$28,450,387
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Art references in the film include; a Jeff Koons 'balloon dog' sculpture, a Richard Misrach photograph, a Mark Bradford piece (custom made for the film), an Aaron Curry sculpture and an Alexander Calder 'mobile' all in Susan's home; a John Currin painting in Susan's gallery office. Much of the work came from the director's private collection. See more »

Goofs

The phone number on Edward's note accompanying the manuscript has a (323) area code. This is a Los Angeles area code. Supposedly, Edward lives in Dallas and presumably has for quite some time. See more »

Quotes

Edward Sheffield: When someone loves you, you have to be careful with it!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Turning My World Around
Written and Performed by Mick Lister & Giles Edward Palmer
Courtesy of Extreme Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Living Well's the Best Revenge
29 January 2017 | by kaptenvideo-89875See all my reviews

That's some terrifying stuff right there! Fashion designer Tom Ford has written and directed his second movie, a multifaceted revenge thriller which is even better than his first, 2009's "A Single Man".

Both are visually stylish, of course, which is expected from fashion guru, both have interesting premise and good actors, and both have this cold, unsettling atmosphere which tries to keep the viewer at some distance.

In short, Ford has managed to take everything good from his solid debut project and bring it to the next level with "Nocturnal Animals". It's more lively, gripping, effortlessly cool and deeper.

There are two stories, interwined in a way which may make viewers wonder whether it's real or imagined by the character. But it is ambiguous in a best possible way, not trying to f--k with our minds and then leave us hanging.

An unhappily married woman (Amy Adams) thinks she wants his first husband (Jake Gyllenhaal) back. And she reads his novel, a violent thriller, which seems like a revenge tale. And then things get more, er, complex.

On-screen events are exciting already but Ford the writer turns out surprisingly skillful at making it even varied, without getting stuck or losing steam, or letting us think that we know where all this ends up. He even playfully takes jabs at his main fashion job and the lifestyle and personal sacrifices that come with it.

And the whole result really makes you feel something for the characters, unlike many of the thrillers that only manage to arouse the viewer during their best bits.

It's not mostly about Adams and Gyllenhaal. There is a number of smaller but important characters and cool performances. We have Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer, Michael Sheen, Laura Linney.

The cast is good enough reason to watch it. Everybody adds something worthwhile to the experience, even Sheen and Fisher and especially Linney who all have rather small roles used to move the story along.

Shannon brings his usual magnetic mix of cool and creepy. Gyllenhaal manages to move between having balls and ball-less state without turning unbelievable or too heroic. Taylor-Johnson as the bad guy even got a Golden Globe for his work (the only one for the movie although Tom Ford got nominated for both best movie / drama and adapted screenplay). He really deserves it, he is evil at its most subtle and delicious. Delicious to watch, I mean.

But I am especially happy about Amy Adams who is often used in the movies as just a pretty face or supporting woman. In 2016, she has had two strong roles, in a thinking man's sci-fi "Arrival", and now this.

Her screen time may be limited but she surely makes the most of it, captivatingly playing out both worlds that the character has hiding inside her. I believed her both as a lively young woman and the jaded older one that's missing all the ideals that she had decided to throw away long time ago.

Based on a novel by Austin Wright which Ford wanted to adapt into two movies initially, one true to original, the other not so much. I am not sure which way he chose ultimately but what a ride, eh?

PS No, I am not giving 9 out of 10 to every movie I watch from now on. The last three have been just some of 2016's best of the best.


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