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Nocturnal Animals

 

Amy Adams plays Susan Morrow, an art dealer whose life with her second husband feels empty. One day, her ex-husband, to whom she was married for two years (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) sends her a novel that he has written and dedicated to her. There are three stories involving different periods in time that are seamlessly woven into one in a way that reminded me strongly of the best works of David Lynch. The very first scenes have to be the most interesting and unusual I have seen in a long time and hooked me immediately into the film. The acting is simply incredible. Amy Adams turns out a second extremely strong performance (following Arrival) as she slips flawlessly in and out of her different characters. Jake Gyllenhaal is intense, Michael Shannon gives an over-the-top and award-worthy supporting performance as the investigating sheriff, and the two villains are positively creepy. There is one scene with Adams and Laura Linney, who plays her mom, that is exceptional. The film is beautiful to look at, and the score is excellent. Big thumbs up from me for a tale of intrigue and revenge, which operates on multiple levels here, that kept me mesmerized. It is a movie about psychological insecurity and feeling disconnected from oneself. A warning – this movie isn’t for everyone – it is extremely intense psychologically and physically, and there are a few scenes that caused me to jump in my seat. For me it is an artistic masterpiece.


 

 

About Gary Burkholder

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