Our film reviewer James Burgess is a 26 year-old Performance, Drama and Theatre graduate. The former Fallibroome High School pupil has attended the BAFTA Film Awards in London every year since 2009, meeting stars including Dame Helen Mirren, Christian Bale and Emma Thompson, James lives on St Ives Close in Macclesfield. You can visit his website at www.jabfilmreviews. blogspot.com.
Seamlessly interweaving three separate time-frames, it tells the present story of Susan (Amy Adams; glacially terrific) an extremely privileged but unfulfilled LA gallery owner, who possesses the titular manuscript from her ex-husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal, rarely having been better).
As she begins to read, the plot of the novel becomes the film’s central narrative: a gritty, murderous neo-noir with Texan drawl and terrifyingly unrelenting nihilistic antagonists – led by a terrific Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
Susan also remembers glossily desperate flashbacks of when her and Edward were together. These three portions are perfectly juxtaposed against each other in Seamus McGarvey’s peerless cinematography. The vacuous lacquer of the hollow present connoting the futility of excess; the fuzzy, dappled past, and the antithesis, with the abject brutality of the apparent fiction...
Utterly striking, its Hitchcockian references are fiendishly clever, from motel signs and graphicmatched showers, to Abel Korzeniowski’s evocatively Hermannesque score. Laura Linney has a terrific, aged-up cameo, in a sharp, propulsive, heightened cautionary tale that’s black-hearted and will stick to your psyche.
Amy Adams as Susan Morrow in Nocturnal Animals