I watched Nocturnal Animals for the second time (thanks HBO) last night. And I’m sure I’ll watch it again. I know, I know—many critics wrote it off as style over substance, the fashion designer director has the visuals down but no depth of content.
The film begins with an odd montage considering the director, Tom Ford, is known as the designer responsible for reinventing the formerly farty old Gucci leather company into a sleek fashion empire. Naked, obese women with sparklers and tiaras shake their stuff (literally) in slow motion over the opening credits. It’s a disconcerting (and fascinating) series of images even on my small TV screen. Eventually, the camera pulls back and we are oriented into a white box of a hip, L.A. art gallery of one’s dreams. The obese women are part of the exhibit (either as realistic statues or actual women in some kind of bizarre installation). Juxtaposed to their inert and moving mounds of imperfect humanity, sits impeccably put together Susan (Amy Adams), wearing what looks like Tom Ford, with her statement necklace and signature red hair brushed to one side. She’s gorgeous, successful…and sad.
Later, after she drives up to her amazing (talk about real estate porn) moderne L.A. home (the metallic gates open and close slowly) we find out why she’s so depressed. Her wealth is a facade and her Ken doll husband is cheating. At an L.A. art party, her friends advise her to enjoy the absurdity of their world. She can’t, because somewhere in her past, she had a chance to live an authentic life and blew it. Continue reading “Nocturnal Animals – Devastating Lessons in Life through Art”