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Movie review: Nocturnal Animals, Written and Directed by Tom Ford, 117 minutes

amyadams

I really like Amy Adams. Apparently, so does director Tom Ford, because he keeps her in close-up most of the way through this movie.

The opening credits, arguably the best part of the movie, really grab one’s attention. Having grabbed it, though, it doesn’t do anything with it. Maybe it’s art, but it doesn’t teach me anything or change me in anyway. It’s just shocking without any actual effect or purpose.

Amy Adams, always a fine actress, puts on art shows but doesn’t really believe she’s doing anything worthwhile. She remembers her ex-husband, played by the very able Jake Gyllenhall, who put his heart and soul into his art, and she wants to recapture youth, love, and real commitment. She’s reading his novel. It’s full of sex, violence, and violent sex. It really grabs one’s attention, and Amy Adams has to job of convincing us in the audience that it means something.

But it doesn’t, and neither do the wistful wishes of Amy Adams’ character. And neither does the entire movie. Art, to be art, needs to do something besides shock us and grab our attention.

–Gene Lantz

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