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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
334 ( 16)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 143 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
India Menuez ... Samantha Morrow
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


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

Joaquin Phoenix was considered for Aaron Taylor-Johnson's role, but eventually dropped out. See more »

Goofs

Susan Morrow leaves Tony Morrow who is of graduate school age and meets Hutton who is presumably her age in the movie and they have a daughter who is now college aged. Hutton appeared to be much younger than Susan's character like in his early 30's which is true in real life. So he could not have a college age daughter with her. See more »

Quotes

Susan Morrow: Why are you so driven to write?
Edward Sheffield: I guess it's a way of keeping things alive. You know, saving things that will eventually die. If I write it down, then... it'll last forever.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film '72: Episode #45.8 (2016) 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

 
This devilishly stylish thriller left me in a trance
16 October 2016 | by bartonj2410See all my reviews

Nocturnal Animals is a dark and devilishly stylish thriller from Tom Ford, who knows a thing or two about style having worked as creative director for both Gucci and Yves Saint Lauren in the past. It could have been in danger of being a case of style over substance however, Ford's perfectionism makes this one of the most powerful films I've seen all year.

Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) is an art gallery owner who spends most of her life at home alone, with her husband often out of town on business. When Susan receives a manuscript to a novel written by her ex-husband, Edward Sheffield (Jake Gyllenhaal), she finds herself immediately engrossed.

As Susan continues to read the novel, she has flashbacks to how her relationship with Edward broke down as well as thoughts that the violent thriller is a veiled threat against her from Edward.

I didn't know what to expect from Nocturnal Animals as I hadn't seen any trailers and Ford's film ended up blowing me away. The way Ford tells the story showcases how inventive and powerful he is as a filmmaker, the narratives of both Susan's life and Edward's novel combining brilliantly and leaving me in a trance like state.

Edward's novel provides the film with its dark soul, the story of Tony Hastings (also played by Jake Gyllenhaal) and his family who run into trouble when travelling through the night on the road to their country home. It's pretty heavy stuff but it plays an essential part in making this such powerful viewing.

This is a gorgeous film to look at as well, Seamus McGarvey's cinematography echoing the story's bleakness and the brutality of Edward's supposed veiled threat to Susan. The combination of the visuals with Abel Korzeniowski's dream-like score heightens the sense of escapism felt by Susan as she reads Edward's novel.

Coming to the performances, Nocturnal Animals features a very impressive ensemble cast all at the top of their game. Amy Adams yet again proves why she's one of the most versatile actresses with a performance that combines the assurance of an art gallery owner with the vulnerability of someone who knows they've made mistakes in their past. With this and Arrival out in the coming months, expect to see Adams get some form of recognition come the awards season, maybe for both.

Adams is joined by Jake Gyllenhaal, who takes on dual roles yet again for this film. Gyllenhaal has really grown as an actor, particularly in the last five years, and its great to see him continue that in Nocturnal Animals, more notably in the role of Tony Hastings, a creation of his other character Edward.

The rest of the cast features a scene stealing Michael Shannon, who I've really grown to appreciate these last few years, a career best performance from Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who is truly vile as the villainous Ray, and Laura Linney who, even in the short space of time we see her, makes one hell of an impact.

I cannot speak highly enough of Nocturnal Animals, a stylish thriller that has more than enough substance to it. I will definitely be checking out Tom Ford's A Single Man after this and I sure as hell hope we see more work from Ford in the future.


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