|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 117 Min|
|FSK:||From 16 years|
The art dealer Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) actually has everything you could wish for: Beauty, money and an attractive husband (Armie Hammer). And yet Susan feels a certain emptiness in herself. But she is torn from her lethargy when she receives a manuscript from her ex-husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal), with whom she has had no contact for years. Susan follows the attached instructions to read the novel dedicated to her. The book tells the tragic story of a man (Jake Gyllenhaal) who drives through Texas with his wife and daughter one night and is driven off the road by a brutal thugs (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and his friends - with terrible consequences that confront the man with his greatest fears. The story is disturbing, but also fascinates Susan and forces her to reflect on her time with Edward…
"Nocturnal Animals" is the second directorial work of fashion designer Tom Ford after his celebrated debut "A Single Man" seven years ago. In the mystery drama, for which Ford also wrote the script, he tells two different stories, which of course are connected on a certain symbolic level. But all in all it is obvious that the story of the novel Susan reads is far more exciting, gripping and thrilling than the framework story around Susan and Edward. Because this is characterized by long shots, in which a lot of little happens and a lot of wood hammer symbolism, which is sometimes very thickly applied. Moreover, the opening sequence, which really has nothing to do with the rest of the movie, is so adjusted to "Shock Effect" and "I don't adapt to the Hollywood crowd" that it's almost unpleasantly embarrassing. The film really wouldn't have needed that.
If you take the story of Tony Hastings and his family, which falls into the hands of the brutal Ray Marcus, for itself, "Nocturnal Animals" is really beyond all doubt: atmospherically densely staged, great filmed, excellently played (especially by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon) and excitingly told. The Susan/Edward plot also has some very good moments of its own, is also played convincingly, but suffers from some lengths and the all too intrusive symbolism. Here something less would have been really more.
The thriller drama is a good example for the fact that two good halves (even if one is clearly better than the other) do not make an excellent whole. The movie's not bad, but it's very unbalanced. And since one expects an even more enigmatic message than the one one gets served at the end - as good as it may be - due to the staging, one wonders after about two hours what the whole thing is all about. As I said, Nocturnal Animals is far from being a bad movie. But this second movement by Tom Ford really isn't as important and demanding as it would all too obviously like to be. And so applies: Some enormous lengths, but worth seeing only for the story in the story and because of the great actors!
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