Nocturnal Animals reviews

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OscarGuy
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Re: Nocturnal Animals reviews

Postby OscarGuy » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:20 am

Can anyone explain to me the opening credits sequence? It was the only thing in the entire film that actually puzzled me. I'm not precisely sure as to its purpose, other than as a deeper look at the very art gallery exhibition that opens the film. Was there some artistic aspect of it that I'm just not getting or it just a shock-and-awe kind of thing? (Also, spoilery thing, are the fat ladies just posing on those daises or are they actually dead or fake? I couldn't quite tell from the edit)
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Re: Nocturnal Animals reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:35 am

I'm not sure that I hated this movie as much as most here did. I guess I simply think that it's not very good - but I kind of enjoyed watching it and most importantly I enjoyed people's reactions to it on the web. Violent? Unpleasant? Ok, I guess it's because I'm a child of the 70s, and Italian rape-and-revenge movies made me stronger, but honestly I didn't find this movie excessive in any way - it's actually quite tame (and this isn't a good thing - I expected something much more extreme and provocative, at least psychologically, which could have justified the ex-wife's shocked reactions reading the novel). Ambiguous? Difficult? Enigmatic? Again - I guess I'm too old. As some say in this same thread, I found the whole thing to be even too obvious, too simple (the terrible dinner scene with Laura Linney being so literal that I'm still not sure that it wasn't a parody of soap-opera dialogue). So when I see people (young people, I hope, but stlll...) who complain in their comments about how "complex" this movie is, how this "intellectual puzzle" didn't make them sleep for days... I don't know, I really feel like I am from another (cinema) world.

It's very well acted, the music is very good - it's just too easy and too soft for my tastes.

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Re: Nocturnal Animals reviews

Postby Bog » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:07 am

Sabin, your first paragraph reminded me immensely of D'Angelo's faux letter written to Von Trier as his reaction to Antichrist at Cannes several years back. I haven't found it on letterboxd and maybe it is my foggy memory, but I'm fairly certain he wrote to him...I think I despised your film entirely and (in his 0-100 rating scale) I give your film a 10 if you were being totally earnest but probably closer to a 90 if this was all a total misogynistic put-on..because I applaud you for being a satirist, a provocateur, a bastard, etc.

I am jumping to conclusions but what I think you were getting at was were this not Tom Ford and were it not just his second film and with a reputation other than just fashion designer and A Single Man it is possible we could look deeper and think it went over our heads. Sadly as you put it it...it is just far too dumb and likely no grander statement here than as Tee alluded, showy psycho menace porn made with an artier touch and with bigger names than Hostel.

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Re: Nocturnal Animals reviews

Postby Sabin » Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:47 pm

I just finished a conversation with a friend of mine about whether this film is too dumb to be misogynist in a manner worth taking seriously. I think it's far too dumb. It doesn't have any ideas in its head. This is the kind of movie that stoned film students pitch to each other in dorm rooms, which is exactly where it should stay. Normally when a movie provokes this kind of negative reaction from me, I wonder if there's something I'm missing or should try to take more seriously. My answer is: I would if it was better. If I had a reason to care. If I felt like I was being shown the vision of a satirist and provocateur. Not an asshole.

The only thing I liked about it is Michael Shannon who comes up with a performance that somehow lends his scenes a Cronenberg-ian weirdness the film needs. And I'll laud the abduction scene for being effective.
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Re: Nocturnal Animals reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:54 pm

I was a bit too busy last week to join in the pile-on, but...yeah. (And I was a fan of A Single Man.)

It presumably makes me a bad person, but I found the opening credits just about impossible to watch. Then it was on to two of my least favorite things in the world: psychopath menace-porn, and arty juxtaposition. Amazing, no one had thought to join the genres before! And, as BJ notes, the reveal at the end, of what this was all supposed to represent for Gyllenhaal's character, was rather ridiculous.

As I watched the closing scene, my thought process was "Oh, I guess this means -- you know what: who cares?"

Michael Shannon was good, however, in a way different from his usual. And all the others actors try hard enough. Just...there's nothing there.

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Re: Nocturnal Animals reviews

Postby dws1982 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:44 pm

Bog wrote:Paradoxically (maybe ironically) the worst film in Woody's oeuvre is better than this, no? Crimes and Misdemeanors reference, correct?

Yes, I found that quote in Inside Oscar.

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Re: Nocturnal Animals reviews

Postby Bog » Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:47 pm

Paradoxically (maybe ironically) the worst film in Woody's oeuvre is better than this, no? Crimes and Misdemeanors reference, correct?

So this guy basically had enough money from his massive success as a fashion designer he decided a bucket list item was to start a film production company and direct and produce some novels he liked? A Single Man was vapid yet mostly benign, despite Ford having this incredibly novice-like touch of slamming in a bunch of ideas cribbed from shocking and/or aesthetically displeasing films. This debacle is hard to fathom...and seems to be widely despised by all ideologies and sensibilities on our beloved board...oy vey.

This is the sort of film that makes me think of Eric and year end lists...sure low hanging fruit like Ben Hur, Warcraft, London Has Fallen, Blair Witch, or something else awful with Morgan Freeman attached, are abominations...but THIS, with supposed aspirations and hype attempting and thinking itself a great film, should be that which constitutes such year end worst lists.

Pretty sure we're staring at a Ford third effort that screams Shortbus sans the soft touch, wit, and humanity of Mitchell.

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Re: Nocturnal Animals reviews

Postby dws1982 » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:43 pm

Leon Weiseltier wrote the following about another film, but I think it applies pretty well to this:

"It is a matter of honor to hate this film. There is not a frame of it that fails to degrade, to debase, and to demean something precious. It is the work of a consumer, a voyeur, a coward, a philistine, a creep. It is a stain on the culture that produced it."

Can't remember the last time I was so put off by a film. Maybe The Wolf of Wall Street but I'd watch it again any day over this.

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Re: Nocturnal Animals reviews

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:20 am

The film is like a really nice pair of shoes but with the laces undone.
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Re: Nocturnal Animals reviews

Postby Okri » Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:23 pm

Hated A Single Man, hated this one.

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Re: Nocturnal Animals reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:54 pm

I think I kind of hated this movie.

Which is really disappointing, because I like so many of the actors involved, and really admired Tom Ford's last film. And it's clear that as a filmmaker, he has the sensibility of an artist, or maybe in the case of this film, at least someone with an eye for aesthetics (especially in the portion of the movie set in the urban art world, a milieu closer to his own). And the cast is committing pretty ferociously to the material -- Gyllenhaal and Shannon most of all.

But when I think something is as lousy a piece of writing as this is, it's hard for any of those merits to be much more than afterthoughts. The basic premise is intriguing enough as a concept -- Amy Adams receives a novel written by ex-husband Gyllenhaal that's some kind of parallel for how their own relationship imploded, and the film depicts 1) her reading this novel and dealing with her own life in present day, 2) flashbacks to the Adams-Gyllenhaal relationship, and 3) the story of the novel visualized on-screen. (It's a neat casting coup that Adams's real-life lookalike Isla Fisher appears as her doppelganger in this section.)

However, the movies' disparate sections would just need to be significantly BETTER for this story to work at all. Most grievously, I think the half of the movie depicting Gyllenhaal's novel is really unpleasant -- one long stretch of awful things happening to good people, with little in the way of insight or narrative invention to make it feel like it has any purpose. But the real-life sequences, while less miserable, are full of one poorly written scene after another, with the Adams-Gyllenhaal break-up and the Adams-Linney dinner the worst offenders in a script that thinks its attempts to strain for profundity can mask its basic shallowness. (And, for one scene, couldn't Ford have found a more age appropriate actress for Adams's mother than Laura Linney?)

And then, there's a scene that lays bare the movie's utter vapidity -- the moment that reveals what all of this nonsense in Gyllenhaal's book is supposed to represent -- and I laughed out loud, both at the simplicity of the conceit and the long, arduous journey it took the movie to get there. (As directed, I also don't totally understand the logistics of this moment, either, but at that point I'd stopped caring about things like that.)

By the time the movie concluded -- with a final scene that I couldn't begin to tell you what it was supposed to mean -- I was just glad it was finally over.

The noirish music score is very good though.

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Nocturnal Animals reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:34 pm



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