The Visually Stunning / Overtly Violent Nature of Nocturnal Animals 

Amy Adams stars in Nocturnal Animals

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Amy Adams stars in Nocturnal Animals

The violent nature of Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals is dark, stylish and only the third feature film crafted by amazing fashion icon Tom Ford. It's also one of the most unnerving experiences I've had at the movies.

The first few seconds of Nocturnal Animals are beautiful: a blizzard of colored confetti falls against a black backdrop, set to a haunting score by Abel Korzeniowski. Then a badly-scarred, obese, naked woman begins a pole dance, filling the screen. The burlesque continues with another obese, naked dancer, then another and another—all before the opening credits.

What follows is a film-within-a-film, featuring the lonely existence of an extremely beautiful Los Angeles gallery owner (played by a perfectly gowned and coiffed Amy Adams) and a polar-opposite story unwinding into an intense, violent rape fantasy.

At its world premiere at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, I heard as many critics ask, "What the f**k was that all about?" as I heard some say, "This was the most stylish, beautiful movie of the year." Unfortunately, my reaction was closer to the former.

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Nocturnal Animals
Rated R · 116 minutes · 2016
Official Site:
Director: Tom Ford
Producer: Tom Ford and Robert Salerno
Cast: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer, Ellie Bamber, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Sheen, Neil Jackson, Robert Aramayo and Karl Glusman

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