DVD Review: Nocturnal Animals
I should have listened to my Spidy-senses and stopped watching Nocturnal Animals before I had really started. The opening credits have to be the most bizarre and disturbing (if you don’t like watching obese naked women dance) I’ve seen and I struggled to understand how they could be part of the film that I was about to watch. As it turns out the dancing was part of an art installation created by one of the films main players. But it does nothing to connect the viewers to whats happening on screen and leaves you wondering if it’s there just as a provocation rather than a necessary element to the storytelling.
But hey, I had heard good things about this story within a story tale of revenge, and what’s more it has Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon in it so it can’t be all bad right?
Ok, back to the film. Amy Adams plays the role of the Art Gallery owner stuck in an emotionless marriage, who one day gets a manuscript from her ex-husband of 20 years previous, that he dedicates to her. It seems to feature herself, their daughter and her ex. But its a very dark story, one so gripping (at least to Adams) that she can’t put the book down, except to have annoying flash backs to her previous life.
Gyllenhaal’s main role is in the fake story that is the center of this tale, and in this he is such a wimpy sad sack of shit that my perception of him as an actor has had a seismic shift, in much the same way that when re-watching Once Were Warriors a few years back and realising that Cliff Curtis was a child rapist made me re-evaluate how I saw him, which does not bode well for a viewing of Life this weekend.
But anyway, the film finally gets a little interesting half way through (and how I made it that far I don’t know) when Shannon finally steps into the story. But even Shannon being Shannon can’t save this muddled, tiresome film from being an absolute train wreck.
A very standard revenge story wrapped up in a scenario that hints at the story being something much deeper just didn’t work with none of the characters connecting with the viewer on any kind of emotional level.
Rating: R16 Violence, sexual violence, offensive language & nudity.