Dallas Movie Screening

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Nocturnal Animals

This Year’s Mulholland Drive…Don’t Worry That’s a Great Thing.


The cat’s out of the bag, I am a huge David Lynch fan and I pretty much fall in love with anything that can match that man’s surreal and bizarre storytelling style. Nocturnal Animals came close to it and every single second of it was engrossing. Let’s get reel and break this down.

An art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband's novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a veiled threat and a symbolic revenge tale.



Director Tom Ford brings us a delightfully nightmarish movie that will have you hooked and leave feeling cold when it’s done. I regretfully missed his freshman effort in 2013 A Single Man and now I am kicking myself for it. The way Tom tells this story is masterful. There are little hints of multiple genres including: Suspense, Thriller, Mystery, even a bit of Horror and Dark Comedy for good measure. None of the genres or tones conflicted with each other making a hell of a ride and great theater experience. Mixing all those genres fluently makes for great direction. Ford also plays with the audience and blurring the line of reality and fiction making the journey mind bending and intriguing. The characters are rich, for the most part, and take you along this journey that won’t soon forget. I don’t want to talk about it anymore as this is a movie to go into blind.

Not going to lie, people might be turned off from the opening credits. It did go on a bit too long and was definitely a bumpy start to the film. Some of characters barely have anything to do and felt a bit underdeveloped. But that’s ok; it made up for the amazing characters that the story built around.



Everyone, I would argue, delivers one of the better performances of their careers. Whether it be Amy Adams and her cold, isolated character that conveys emotions through her eyes, Jake Gyllenhaal’s transformation to seek revenge, Aaron Taylor-Johnson convincingly disgusting and awful character, or Michael Shannon’s badass detective character, everyone shines and I wouldn’t be surprised if one or all got nominated.

Like I said above, some actors have one or two scenes that really didn’t do much with their characters or performances.



Every scene and some distinct shots are absolutely beautiful. The dreamlike atmosphere conjures up some gorgeous imagery that could be a painting. The colors are vibrant and the shooting techniques make this story pop out even more and suck you into this world. The music also adds another sophisticated layer to the surreal nature of the cinematography really sweeping you up in the moment.


Editing/Special Effects


For being almost two hours, I was never bored and completely invested in everything that was going on. The white-knuckled tension throughout the film made me move up to the edge of my seat a few times in anticipation of the unknown.

Like I mentioned above, the opening credits might turn some people off and seem a bit rough to get going. I will even admit that I was worried once it started but after the credits all was well.

This will be in my top ten of the year. It’s a surreal journey that never lets up with its tension and brilliant storytelling. If you do not like bizarre films that have a non-linear structure then you probably won’t like this. I might be bias because I love this type of filmmaking but even though the ending left me cold, empty, and stunned I still wanted to jump back into it immediately and experience it again. My grade might go higher but for now I will give it…


(Review by Chase Lee)

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