Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals is very stylish, well put together, absurdly well-lit (as in bright and even) and uses the conceit of a story-within-a-story in the form of the main protagonist’s reading her long-estranged ex-husband’s revenge-tale novel. I think this was somehow supposed to be symbolic of the anger he felt at their break-up; I didn’t really get the link personally, it was oblique at best. I came away feeling a bit dissatisfied: Amy Adams’ character (Susan Morrow) was beautifully acted (although I never really felt like she’d “had no sleep”, she looked way too fresh) but somehow she was a bit lacking in motivation throughout (and I’ll forgive myself if this was actually the point). When the final frame appeared I was a bit, as the youngsters say, ‘meh’. We’ve seen the revenge tale over and over in what must amount to hundreds of different forms. This though didn’t really bring anything cohesive to the genre. In the end, it was a vaguely uncomfortable mix of stylish emotional drama and melodramatic revenge outing. Shame, I was really looking forward to it too.

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