Nocturnal Animals is written and directed by Tom Ford staring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal, it is an adaptation of a 1993 novel named Tony and Susan by Austin Wright, the film is Tom Ford’s 2nd directorial effort after 2010’s A Single Man.
The film has three separate stories taking place at once and all connect to each other like a jigsaw puzzle at the end, the first story takes place in the present day with our lead character Susan played by Amy Adams who is an art dealer in the high society and she is married to a business man played by Armie Hammer who is always traveling to New York to take care of his business, one day she receives a novel written by her ex-husband Edward that he called Nocturnal Animals and he dedicated it to her, as she begin to read the novel it makes her think about her life and and reflect on how unhappy she is, the 2nd story is the past which is the story of how Susan and Edward fell in love and got married and later on got divorced, now the third one which is the bulk of the film is the dramatization of the novel and in it Jake Gyllenhaal plays the husband Tony Hastings and he is traveling on the American highway with his family and something tragic happens to them, and I will not talk about that part.
For me it is rare to watch a movie twice in a row, but after I watch Nocturnal Animals I felt like I was haunted by this film and I needed to watch it again which I did. I got a sense that Tom Ford was all over this film his attention to detail and his artistic vision and finger print was literally everywhere which complimented Seamus McGarvey’s masterful cinematography and Abel Korzeniowski’s amazing score. it is really well made every frame of the film speaks for its self and the contras of color and the crisp images really do standout as one of the best 2016 movies.
I don’t understand how Jake Gyllenhaal is not nominated for an Oscar for his role he really did a masterful job especially as Tony, Michael Shannon was also very brilliant and he is nominated for an Oscar, Amy Adams is 2016’s biggest snub because she didn’t get the recognition that she deserved for either of her movies and she was really good here,Aaron Taylor-Johnson was completely unrecognizable in this film he did an impressive job by becoming his character he was really captivating.
Verdict : Nocturnal Animals is an impressive movie from every aspect, it is extremely well made, well written and masterfully acted. despite its critical acclaim I feel like it deserved more recognition and I really hope Tom Ford keeps making more films like this in the near future. (10.0/10.0)
Manchester by the Sea is written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan staring Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges and Kyle Chandler. the film released on November 2016 and currently nominated for six academy awards.
The film follows Lee Chandler who is played by Casey Affleck, an isolated man who lives in Boston and works as a janitor who get news of his brother Joe’s death and finds out that he named him his son’s legal guardian who is played by Lucas Hedges. bit by bit we get to know why Lee is living such an isolated life and what darkness is he running from and when we do finally get the whole picture it is one of the most tragic and upsetting characters I have seen on a screen in 2016.
The film’s most celebrated performance is Casey Affleck who shines as a broken beyond repair man, his performance is so surreal and raw every facial cue is leading to something else masterfully performed, I always knew Casey had a tremendous talent I am very glad he is getting the recognition for it, the rest of the cast are doing a remarkable job even though they don’t get much of screen time, especially Michelle Williams who had two very powerful scenes and of course Lucas Hedges was very believable as the teenager who lose his dad and trying to cope with it.
If I could get a chance to explain what most of the film’s scenes are it would be a bunch of people screaming at each other, but the thing is those scenes all make sense once you understand why every character is doing they are doing, the motives and the character backgrounds are all very masterful and tragic and they work marvelously well.
Perhaps not the best highlight of the film but I really did enjoy the scenery of the film as someone who loves cold winters and grey weather, the color palate of the film are very low tone and reflects the mood of the film.
Verdict : Kenneth Lonergan comes back after almost a decade to direct a masterful film that is tragic and upsetting which complements by Casey Affleck’s jarring performance. (9.0/10.0)
The Light Between Oceans is directed by Derek Cianfrance staring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander and it is an adaptation of M. L. Stedman novel with the same name, the film came out in 2016 to mixed to positive reviews.
The story follows a man named Tom played by Fassbender who fought in the great war and have seen enough death and destruction he decides to take the life of isolation at Janus Rock tending to a lighthouse, on his way he meets Isabelle played by Vikander and they send letter to each other for some time ultimately they fall in love and get married and she moves to the island with him, while to some their life might be isolated prison to them it is like paradise because they are in love. sometimes passes and they are met with tragedy of a miscarriage which leave Isabelle in utter heart break but one day they found a boat on the shores with a deadman and a baby girl and from there the film turn into a moral struggle between the two weather they keep the baby or they report it back.
I want to talk about some of the strong points of the film first which is the masterful performance from the two leads, both of them are at the top of their games I can’t say which one I prefer more because they both are really really good, also Adam Arkapaw’s cinematography shines like he did in Macbeth another film staring Fassbender and Alexandre Desplat’s beautiful and emotional music which gave me the sense of isolation throughout the film and I thought it was fantastic.
I have to say I do disagree with the negative criticism of the film despite it being melodramatic I really liked it, it is a kind of drama we don’t get these days but I loved the world of it and during its last scenes I was very emotionally moved by what was happening I felt the weight of the decisions they were making and the sorrow that filled their lives, at times the film takes long breaks without a single line of dialogue but it is ok because the actors do such a great job by just portraying these characters I didn’t feel like I needed long conversations, it is a feeling I had with The Revenant as well.
Verdict : it is not without faults it has issues but The Light Between Oceans is a great showcase for the amount of talent Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander has. (8.0/10.0)