Feb 172017
 

Nocturnal Animals might not have engaged me on an emotional level, the writing and storytelling from Tom Ford are still fantastic and the performances from Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams and Michael Shannon were amazing and, at least in Shannon’s case, award-worthy.

 

 

Nocturnal Animals
(2016)

Genre(s): Drama, Thriller
Universal | R – 116 min. – $34.98 | February 21, 2017

Date Published: 02/17/2017 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Tom Ford
Writer(s): Austin Wright (novel); Tom Ford (screenplay)
Cast: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Ellie Bamber, Armie Hammer, Andrea Riseborough, Laura Linney, Michael Sheen, Jena Malone
DISC INFO:
Features:
Featurette
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 37.8 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

 


THE MOVIE — 4.0/5


Plot Synopsis: Susan Morrow (AMY ADAMS) is living through an unfulfilling marriage when she receives a package containing a novel manuscript from her ex-husband, Edward (JAKE GYLLENHAAL). The novel is dedicated to her but its content is violent and devastating. Susan cannot help by reminisce over her past love story with the author. Increasingly, she interprets the book as a tale of revenge, a tale that forces her to re-evaluate the choices that she has made, and reawakens a love that she feared was lost.

Review: Based on the novel by Austin Wright, Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals is a film with the central theme of retribution above all else, with regret and heart ache thrown in. The writing is tight and top-notch acting from all involved set against, in part, the bleakness of West Texas.

This is Ford’s follow up to 2009’s A Single Man and while I wasn’t exactly emotional invested, I did find the three paths — real world, flashback and novel — to be compelling with Jake Gyllenhaal turning in a sorrowful performance save for one scene where he cries out, a scene that was a bit too over-the-top and came across as an Oscar scene made for a parody film… Amy Adams for her part serves well as the central character though she’s relegated more for reactions to events as she reads the novel.

The supporting cast consists of Armie Hammer as the cheating husband; Michael Shannon is the highlight as a police detective, in the novel, helping find the men responsible for a horrific crime; Aaron Taylor-Johnson is downright frightening as one of the men guilty for said crime; and Isla Fisher made for a stunning double for Amy Adams as a character within the novel portion.

Another highlight is the look of the film, lensed by cinematographer Seamus McGarvey who managed to make the s-fest of a film Fifty Shades of Grey look stunning, not to mention several other projects dating back 20 plus years (receiving Oscar nominations for Atonement and Anna Karenina). The visuals both in the real world (which tended to be cooler tones) and novel world (the naturals of the Texas desert) were a spectacular contrast that worked so well.

Nocturnal Animals, having never read the novel it’s based on, I have to think was difficult to translate to film but Tom Ford does a pretty darn good job and although it didn’t, as I said, resonate on an emotional level, I did find the story and characters compelling enough that it is a memorable viewing experience.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.0/5


This release comes with a matted, title-embossed slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

The Making of Nocturnal Animals (11:18; HD) is a 3-part featurette (Building the Story, The Look of Nocturnal Animals and The Filmmaker’s Eye: Tom Ford) and includes interviews with members of the cast and crew as they discuss the plot, characters and other elements.

 


VIDEO – 4.25/5


Nocturnal Animals comes to Blu-ray through Universal Pictures Home Entertainment presented with an AVC-encoded 1080p high-definition transfer and in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio. As previously mentioned, there’s a fine array from the cooler, darker tones in the real world while novel world colors are natural and bright, either one detail is sharp and there is a fine amount of natural grain.

AUDIO – 4.0/5


The disc includes your basic but effective DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. This is mostly a dialogue-driven movie to begin with and in that regard, it is crisp and clear coming from the center channel but there are moments where depth is on display like the heartbeats toward the end and Abel Korzenopwski’s haunting score using the front and rear speakers.

 


OVERALL – 3.5/5


Overall, Nocturnal Animals might not have engaged me on an emotional level, the writing and storytelling from Tom Ford are still fantastic and the performances from Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams and Michael Shannon were amazing and, at least in Shannon’s case, award-worthy. The Blu-ray released through Universal offers up good video/audio transfers while the features were on the weaker side.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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