Tony and Susan, by Austin Wright, the new film from Tom Ford -- famous fashion designer-turned-moviemaker who earlier gave us A Single Man -- NOCTURNAL ANIMALS appears to be about some extraordinarily shallow people attempting to connect (or re-connect). But, again, as with his earlier film, to quote the famous Ms Stein, "There's no 'there' there." Visually, as we might expect from Mr. Ford, the movie is often jolting or chicly impressive; character-wise, it is running almost entirely on empty and cliché.
Jake Gyllenhaal, above), who has dedicated his novel to her and now wants her to read it. She does, and the movie then divides its time between the story embedded in that novel and the gallery owner, whose life present and past we learn about in bits and pieces and flashbacks.
Armie Hammer, Andrea Riseborough and Michael Sheen all wasted in these roles).
Michael Shannon (above) again doing a great job in the fairly thankless role of a taciturn cop, and Aaron Tayor-Johnson (below), glowering sleazily and sexily as the lead villain of the piece.
Douglas Sirk and Jim Thompson, slightly updated into the 21st Century: a bizarre piece of pulp melodrama, greatly gussied up and striving with all its might to ascend into art. Or even into something marginally pertinent. I am not sure if the film is only pretending to not understand how pointless it is, or if Mr. Ford actually is this clueless. Perhaps we should think of his movie as a near-perfect entry into the upcoming America of Donald Trump.
Focus Features and running a lengthy 117 minutes, Nocturnal Animals opens this Friday, November 18, in major cities across the country. Here in South Florida, it will play the AMC's Aventura 24 and Sunset Place 24, and Regal's South Beach Stadium 18, Miami; the Gateway 4, Fort Lauderdale; and the Cinemark 20 and Regal Shadowood 16 in Boca Raton. To see all currently scheduled playdates throughout the country, click here (then "x" out the trailer so you can view the info you actually came for).