Nocturnal An­i­mals

Malta Independent - - CINEMA -

From writer/direc­tor Tom Ford comes a haunt­ing ro­man­tic thriller of shock­ing in­ti­macy and grip­ping ten­sion that ex­plores the thin lines be­tween love and cru­elty, and re­venge and redemp­tion. Academy Award nom­i­nees Amy Adams and Jake Gyl­len­haal star as a di­vorced cou­ple dis­cov­er­ing dark truths about each other and them­selves in Nocturnal An­i­mals. Su­san Mor­row (por­trayed by Ms. Adams) lives an in­cred­i­bly priv­i­leged yet un­ful­filled life with her hus­band Hut­ton Mor­row (Ar­mie Ham­mer). One week­end, as Hut­ton de­parts on one of his too-fre­quent busi­ness trips, Su­san re­ceives an un­so­licited pack­age that has been left in her mail­box.

It is a novel, Nocturnal An­i­mals, writ­ten by her ex-hus­band Ed­ward Sh­effield (Mr. Gyl­len­haal), with whom she has had no con­tact for years. Ed­ward’s note ac­com­pa­ny­ing the man­u­script en­cour­ages Su­san to read the work and then to con­tact him dur­ing his visit to the city. Alone at night, in bed, Su­san be­gins read­ing. The novel is ded­i­cated to her… …but its con­tent is vi­o­lent and dev­as­tat­ing, as Ed­ward tells the tale of Tony Hast­ings (also por­trayed by Mr. Gyl­len­haal). Driv­ing across a lonely stretch of Texas one night, Tony and his fam­ily are ha­rassed by a trio of joyrid­ers, and forced off the road into a con­fronta­tion ini­ti­ated by the gang’s ring­leader, the dis­turbingly in­sin­u­at­ing Ray Mar­cus (Aaron Tay­lor-John­son). Tony is all but pow­er­less to act as his fam­ily is kid­napped and he is left stranded. When day breaks, Tony man­ages to reach the po­lice for help, and la­conic Lieu­tenant Bobby Andes (Academy Award nom­i­nee Michael Shan­non) takes on the case. Andes forges a strong con­nec­tion with the dis­traught Tony, and ded­i­cates him­self to pur­su­ing the sus­pects once Tony’s worst fears are re­al­ized… Moved by Ed­ward’s writ­ing, Su­san can­not help but rem­i­nisce over the most pri­vate mo­ments from her own love story with the au­thor.

Try­ing to look within her­self and be­yond the glossy sur­face of the life and ca­reer that she has made, Su­san in­creas­ingly in­ter­prets the book as a tale of re­venge, a tale that forces her to re-eval­u­ate the choices that she has made, and re-awak­ens a love that she feared was lost – as the story builds to a reck­on­ing that will de­fine both the novel’s hero and her own. A Fo­cus Fea­tures pre­sen­ta­tion of a Fade To Black pro­duc­tion. A Tom Ford Film. Amy Adams, Jake Gyl­len­haal. Nocturnal An­i­mals. Clas­si­fi­ca­tion 15

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