Nocturnal Animals: a mess with all the right ingredients

Contrary to what people may think, there are a lot of films that I watch that I don’t enjoy. The rub is that I simply don’t talk about them and often forget they even exist.

I missed Nocturnal Animals’ cinema run and, for that, I’m grateful.

The biggest problem I have with Tom Ford’s film is that he had all the ingredients for it to be great. The cast is, on paper, stellar. Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon isn’t anything to sniff at. What’s strange is that everyone of these top tier actors, save from Shannon, give boring performances. I’m not kidding, I fell asleep trying to watch this film – TWICE.

Amy is the home-girl. I Stan hard for this woman and this is the first film I have seen where I thought she was just bad. I have loved this woman since Enchanted, seen her give show-stealing performances in The Fighter and American Hustle. I believe she should have won the best actress category at this year’s Oscars for her role in Arrival. With all of that said, what I saw in Nocturnal Animals doesn’t make sense. She phoned this performance in.

The other major problem is that I thought the story was as dull as the acting. In fact, the whole premise and structure of the film feels convoluted and faux smart. Shit, it felt hallow. When the credits rolled, I simply asked what the point of the film was – what is its overriding message? It felt pointless.

And it bums me out. The way that I’m wired means that I genuinely want to love every film I see. I even try to find the positives in bad movies (in this case it is the ever-underrated Michael Shannon).

Maybe it’s me and I am wrong. Maybe this film has something to it that I simply cannot resonate with.



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