Nocturnal Animals (2016) Sunday, 05 April 2020

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Additional Info

  • Rating:

    MA15+: Strong themes and nudity.

  • The pitch:

    Dark monsters.

  • Starring:

    Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Ellie Bamber, Armie Hammer, Karl Glusman, Robert Aramayo, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Sheen

  • Directed by:

    Tom Ford

  • Running time:

    117 minutes

  • Rated:

    MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)


    Women are raped (seen briefly in flashback; discussed), manhandled, threatened, leered at, kidnapped, throat-grabbed. People are shot, punched, wrestled, grabbed, hit, dumped in the desert, threatened at gunpoint, handcuffed, spat on, shoved, hit with an object. Paper cut. Reckless driving, car rammed, car driven off road. Jump scare (man lunges at camera). Phone dropped/smashed, door kicked in. A bird flies into a window. Arguing, screaming. Painting of man pointing a rifle at another man. Fractured skull, suffocated child, broken arm, stolen cars, attempted holdup, shot by a burglar mentioned. Blood/gore: Dead bodies. Bloody heads, eyes, nose, faces, hands, fingers, knuckles, clothing, bullet wounds, cuts, floor. Bleeding, bruising.


    Women are raped (seen briefly in flashback; discussed). Full female nudity (front and rear views). Full male nudity (side/front views; genitals obscured). Couple in bed together (brief; flashback). Kissing, caressing, hand-holding, hugging, crotch-rubbing. People in baths/showers/on toilet. Cleavage, skimpy clothing, shirtless men. Burlesque dancers, gay husband, cheating spouses. Vaginal rejuvenation mentioned.


    Alcohol (cocktails, wine, beer, champagne, spirits). Intoxication. Bar setting. Drugs (joint, sleeping pill). Smoking (marijuana joint).


    F-words, s-words, a-words, bastard, p*sses, b*tches, sl*ts. Name-calling (jerks, hot shot, chickensh*t, piece of sh*t, sunshine, crazy, idiot, etc). Religious references and exclamations (Jesus Christ, oh my God, godammit, my God, who the hell, honest to God). Obscene finger gesture.


    Exes, revenge, Los Angeles contemporary art scene, divorce, insomnia, choices, consequences, art installations, art gallery management, lung cancer, evidence, rednecks, rape, murder, isolation, infidelity, writing, storytelling, weakness, guilt.


    Dead/raped wife/daughter. Abortion (implied). Estranged brother, estranged parents, dead father mentioned. Spitting, vomiting, bum-wiping (brown-stained toilet paper seen), bum-scratching. Toilet. Animal antlers on wall. Taxidermy animal with many arrows protruding from skin (art installation). Bird. Adapted from Austin Wright's Tony and Susan.


    Sumptuous, entertaining, vicious, suspenseful, absorbing, malicious, complex, acerbic, gruesome, gripping, wild, superb, pitch-black, uninhibited, raucous, sophisticated, brutal, impressive, ambitious, bold, intoxicating, intelligent, sensual, contemporary, psychological. Palpable/harrowing/white-knuckle/horrifying/frightening/nail-biting/agonising sequences, invaluable/compelling/inhabited/effective performance by Amy Adams, raw performance by Jake Gyllenhaal, chilling/brutish/unsettling performance by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, riveting performance by Michael Shannon, delicious/brilliant/unforgettable performance by Laura Linney, show-stealing appearance by Michael Sheen and Andrea Riseborough, seamless telling of three stories, sly/scathing humour, striking production design, exquisite/remarkable cinematography, ace editing, lush/eclectic score.


    Not everyone will love the ending.

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