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Running Time:
1 hr. 55 min

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for violence, menace, graphic nudity, and language

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
This well-acted, lovely to look at drama is a haunting romantic thriller of shocking intimacy and gripping tension.

Additional Info:
Amy Adams ... Susan Morrow
Jake Gyllenhaal ... Tony Hastings / Edward Sheffield
Michael Shannon ... Bobby Andes
Aaron Taylor-Johnson ... Ray Marcus
Isla Fisher ... Laura Hastings
Ellie Bamber ... India Hastings
Armie Hammer ... Hutton Morrow
Karl Glusman ... Lou
Robert Aramayo ... Turk
Laura Linney ... Anne Sutton
Andrea Riseborough ... Alessia
Michael Sheen ... Carlos
India Menuez ... Samantha Morrow
Imogen Waterhouse ... Chloe

Nocturnal Animals
This is a tale of redemption, revenge, love and cruelty. It opens with a strong musical score as a number of morbidly obese girls dance topless upon pedestals seemingly pretending to be debutantes. Adding to the fanfare special effect confetti drops through the frame. All-American girls showcasing their goods and talents. Bordering on the macabre, the tone for the film is immediately set.

Amy Adams plays a real-life West Texas debutante, Susan Morrow, who lives an unfulfilling life of daunting privilege with her handsome husband, Hutton Morrow, (Armie Hammer). As Hutton prepares for yet another last-minute weekend high-finance business meeting in New York, relationship fissures widen. A pensive Susan reflects on the state of her marriage with Hutton after a 'not-so-discreet' phone conversation from Hutton's elevator as he is arriving at a penthouse suite amid feminine gaiety as Susan opens a plain, white, mail shipping box. In it she discovers a black and white manuscript titled, "Nocturnal Animals," by Edward Sheffield, Susan's former husband and first true love.
Nocturnal Animals opens up a fictional world etched within Susan's consciousness. Using parallel story lines, present and fictional, coupled with flashbacks to when Edward and Susan first met and their ensuing courtship and short-lived marriage. Laura Linney, plays Susan's West Texas Republican mother, and delivers some of the film's best lines during a martini lunch where she lambasts Susan for even considering a marriage to "weak' Edward. However, the real storytelling takes place within the pages of the manuscript.

Self-reflective and dramatic the narrative is full of conflict and escalating tensions as a husband and wife, (Jake Gyllenhaal and Isla Fisher), travel at night across rural West Texas with their teenage daughter, India (Ellie Bamber). Without even as much as a lit billboard, out of a pitch dark blackness a vehicle approaches the family's suburban mid-sized car at a high-rate of speed. The car is driven erratically and its occupants are behaving wildly as they pass. Not too much to worry about until they decide to force the car off the road. Mayhem ensues as the hellions carjack the vehicle with the women inside leaving Tony on the side of the road in the dark. Soon a vehicle returns to pick up Tony. He's informed the gang leader wants to make amends and that Laura and India want Tony brought to where they are being held hostage. Fearing the worst Tony manages to escape and eventually makes his way to a law enforcement office to make an abduction/missing persons report to lawman Bobby Andes (Michael Shannon).
Director Tom Ford ("A Single Man") has made an emotional and psychological thriller with superb acting, strong production values as well as excellent storytelling.

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