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TIFF 2016 Review: “Nocturnal Animals” (2016) ★★★★★


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After seeing Tom Ford’s NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, it’s hard to believe that this is just his second feature film. He cleverly manipulates the storyline by creating a film in the film, where thankfully, to a mesmerizing performance delivered by Amy Adams you can fully experience the tragedy through her eyes, while she reads a novel…

Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) is an art gallery owner with sad eyes, who receives a book from her first husband, Edward Sheffield who dedicates her a novel called Nocturnal Animals. Once she grabs the book, she starts reading the novel with teary eyes, when her husband and a daughter get into devastating road incident with young men, whose intention was not to leave the family alone.

Susan is already married with someone else, and the reason why she had to divorce Edward is not given in the beginning. But when the images of the highlighted lines in the book materialised, the fear for worse grows with every minute by seeing the reason for Susan each time when she turns the page. In the novel, Edward describes a violent road assault in a way you can’t tell in the beginning whether its fiction story, or based on a true story. But when worse happens, the symbolic revenge begins, the ending of it you will hardly be able to predict.

As the story unfolds, through the performance of Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon as Detective Bobby Andes you will find yourself stunned by the brilliance of the story and the real time experience you get from it. Great editing leaves the movie in a great shape, making it the year’s best film so far. Susan Morrow, according to her, is cynical person who likes to have a well structured life, while Edward is a man who constantly lives in a creative world. While this gives the man a reason of their divorce, the true reason lies in the book itself that Susan has to read till the end to realise.

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS is an exceptional and unlike many other films that will shake you psychologically-wise throughout the film. Amy Adams shines in every scene as if she was born for that Susan’s part. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon, as usual, are great and straightforward in their performances. The film itself is highly intelligent, full of suspense and nail-biting scenes, I am sure you won’t be able to handle so easy.

In the end, NOCTURNAL ANIMALS is an amazing piece of work that should never be missed under any circumstances, and you can trust me on that.

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About Ulkar Alakbarova (1101 Articles)
My name is Ulkar Alakbarova. A wonderful name, is it not? I come from the exotic land of Azerbaijan but now I live in the hub of Hollywood North – Toronto, Canada. How lucky I am to be able to enjoy and indulge in my favourite avocation of watching movies. Movies of every genre are screened here in Toronto. There are black and white classics, avant garde, independently produced, and of course, newly released movies for all to enjoy. Let me share this treasure of entertainment with you. Read my thoughts and opinions then let me know if you agree.

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