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December 26, 2016 at 10:58 pm #1201975288
I will gladly echo the common critique of this film. This was a good movie caught in a misguided framing device. I can freely admit that I value substance above style in my films, and while I can recognize the moments of beauty in general, I would argue that the most apt film comparison would seem to be The Neon Demon, which had far more Beauty and more interesting elements despite its less cohesive whole. I can tolerate the argument that I didn’t “get” The Neon Demon, because there are clear thematic devices that I feel can only be properly interpreted in later viewings. Nocturnal Animals is the most superficial film of the year, and wastes some great work by Shannon and Gyllenhaal in particular.December 27, 2016 at 8:03 am #1201975449
I will gladly echo the common critique of this film. This was a good movie caught in a misguided framing device. I can freely admit that I value substance above style in my films, and while I can recognize the moments of beauty in general, I would argue that the most apt film comparison would seem to be The Neon Demon, which had far more Beauty and more interesting elements despite its less cohesive whole. I can tolerate the argument that I didn’t “get” The Neon Demon, because there are clear thematic devices that I feel can only be properly interpreted in later viewings. Nocturnal Animals is the most superficial film of the year, and wastes some great work by Shannon and Gyllenhaal in particular.
The framing device was far more successful in Austin Wright’s novel, where you got rich insights into Susan’s thought processes as she reads. It’s such a shame that the thematic cohesiveness of the novel has been mostly lost in adaptation, but it’s hardly surprising.December 27, 2016 at 11:55 am #1201975588
It is concerning that Nocturnal Animals got a SAG stunt nomination out of nowhere because it shows that they did see the movie and even really liked it because there is not really any justification for that stunt nomination, yet they still rejected its actors. This is exactly what happened with All is Lost (favoured for SAG actor nomination, actor snubbed, random nomination for stunts, no Oscar acting nomination). It does speak well to its chances at a sound editing nomination, as SAG ensemble and Oscar sound editing line up more often than you would think. The same kinds of films appeal to both awards and Nocturnal Animals has both cars and guns.
Michael Shannon can play this role in his sleep, so I am not dying for this performance to get an Oscar nomination, but I do prefer it what is actually favoured. Probably would not have made a difference, but they should have pushed Amy Adams in supporting from the start. She is missing from half the movie and the half that she is in, she is often pretty passive, just reading or sitting. Jake Gyllenhaal was good, but I had a bit of a hard time believing that he could be walked over. Both he and Shannon are due for second nominations though. Aaron Taylor-Johnson has the bait villain role, so I see how he got the Globe nomination.December 27, 2016 at 5:19 pm #1201975834
I quite enjoyed this flick, but seeing it, I knew it would struggle at the Oscars cause there’s not really the elements to grab a lot of noms. Michael Shannon gives the performance of an Oscar winner, but yeah, Aaron Taylor-Johnson is incredible too. I hope one of them gets a nomination come Oscar morning. Gyllenhaal keeps giving great performances but it’s so odd that there’s still something unmemorable about him. Adams was solid, but there’s really not that much substance to her role I found. It’s odd that anyone would say that her work here is more impressive than “Arrival” (which, for the record, I wouldn’t give her a nomination for either).
The screenplay deserves a nom…and man, Laura Linney. I knew it was gonna be a small role, but I didn’t realize it was one scene. SO F***IN GOOD. I thought if the scene was a little longer, or she had one more scene, she would get a nomination. Alas, I was impressed to look up the reviews from major publications after I saw the movie and every one of them praised her. Stranger things have happened, and I would be totally ok with her grabbing a surprise Oscar nom. She was so freakin good in the 5 minutes (or whatever it was). So memorable.December 27, 2016 at 5:41 pm #1201975854
Shannon will get a nom for that perfomance, and I think that Ford will get an Adapted Screenplay nom. It would be great if it were nominated for Best Picture but that’s pretty unlikely.December 27, 2016 at 9:52 pm #1201975980
I actually really enjoyed this film even with all the style. Jake Gyllenhal has really become a terrific actor. Unlike some actors, I do not see Jake the actor in his roles, but truly the embodiment of the character and I love that.December 31, 2016 at 1:16 am #1201977746
Loved this film. Gyllenhaal is brilliant and I don’t understand why he hasn’t had any traction. Taylor-Johnson and Shannon meanwhile both deserve nods as both are incredible, although I would give the former the edge as I found all of his scenes truly exhilarating. Amy Adams is okay. Nothing special like Arrival and nothing meh like American Hustle. I would love if this film became a big player at BAFTA and I completely support how Ford got Screenplay and Director nods at the globes.December 31, 2016 at 3:10 am #1201977763
I still don’t understand why people have issues with the sense of artifice and emptiness in the film. It was intentional, a directorial decision. Having said that, the film is pretty forgettable and none of the performances stayed with me. Gyllenhaal is one of those actors people adore, but I can’t really understand what they see in him. He’s a committed actor, but his performances are always lacking in charisma. Shannon could do this performance in his sleep. Adams did absolutely nothing but looking gorgeous. Taylor-Johnson was a caricature. This was okay for most of the film, but he needed to be more subtle and frightening in the last scene. A quieter, more controlled performance in that scene could have done wonders and it would have been a pretty meaningful change.
Long story short: There are many wonderful ideas in the film (especially love the small visual ideas indicating time passing) but as a whole, it’s forgettable.January 1, 2017 at 2:12 pm #1201978062
The most creative idea Tom Ford has used in this film was to cast Amy Adams’ secret twin Isla Fisher as her characters reflection in the book. Perfectly fit.
Ambitious film, but that’s as far as my praise can go. It would be kooky if Shannon did make the Oscar list for this type of performance after mocking about Rylance’s win for him doing nothing in Bridge of Spies last year.January 3, 2017 at 11:03 pm #1201979275This post was found to be inappropriate by the moderators and has been removed.January 4, 2017 at 6:40 am #1201979347
Yeah he did. But hopefully the Academy stays away from this trash.
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