Nocturnal Animals has been reviewed by Antoine in the context of the topic, Reflections of Poetry.
With its cast of four-star, and his style (apparently), if the singular, the film director Tom Ford (A Single Man) wanted, with his second feature film, hitting a “big shot” film. As soon as the generic – that obese women and naked dancing on stage at idle – NOCTURNAL ANIMALS (adapted from a novel ofAustin Wright) invites himself very clearly on the side of David Lynch (Lost Highway), or even John Waters (Pink Flamingos). The freak show , orchestrated by Ford suggests that his film will sail in troubled waters, between visions dream-like “monstrous” and different levels of reality, to the image of the visual metaphor of the network of highways that intertwine. In the end, there will only be a dual universe, each of which is supposed to return to the other through a mounting well-oiled, between a real decadent and its reflection fictional scandalous.
In a first time, Ford has fun caricaturing ” his ” own universe, that of a mid-hypocritical bourgeois, and vaguely arty. In Los Angeles, the life of Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) turns out to be a succession of places neurasthenic : a bed where it is impossible to sleep, a bath or a shower where she meditates at length, endless nights, exhibitions and fashion to the assumed ugliness. Opulence and luxury, that is to say all the arsenal materialistic and superficial our mores to western (his big house, his beautiful robes, and her husband, who’s wrong), only serve to underscore its very great loneliness. But how did she get there ? The film will thereafter cease to illustrate some of the “choice of life” in the form of flashbacks, restoring and weaving the relationships with her ex-husband, the writer Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his tyrannical mother (Laura Linney).
The film evokes, among others, the family pressure, ambitions, career-conscious, reports hackneyed between artistic creation through the figure of the romantic writer and art as a capitalist economy, the ephemeral aspect of feelings of love in the face of the eternity of the typed words on a manuscript, etc Of the exciting topics that the film does sketch, or touch the tip of the finger of fear “dirty” hands. And when one knows that the filmmaker has made his fortune in the fashion world – this universe dummy that he tends to despise via a representation extremes of the cult of mediocrity – the film gives glimpses of cynicism somewhat complacent, even disturbing.
“In a second time, the film leaves the universe aseptic and ultra-modern L. A. dehumanized to take the lead,” warm “, of Texas and its figures patibulaires and crasseuses via a judicious mise en abyme.”
In a second time, the film leaves the universe aseptic and ultra-modern L. A dehumanized to take the lead, ” warm “, of Texas and its figures patibulaires and crasseuses via a judicious mise en abyme. Edward, a character o how much spectral as its presence is scattered sparingly, sends an exclusive preview of his latest novel to Susan who immerses himself intensely in his reading. Ford, meanwhile, threw us literally into the allegory of death, very heavily influenced by the horror of Hooper (the texas chainsaw Massacre) and Craven (The Hill of the eye). The dialectic fordienne then takes its brands in the face of the bourgeoisie arty of L. A, the rednecks texans, led by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, hell, they’re going to live a real ordeal to the family Hastings (the father fictional is also played by Gyllenhaal).
The oppositions and contrasts that agency Ford via these two worlds contradict each other are extremely basic, both in their aesthetic-based elemental filter (hot vs. cold, yellow vs. blue, dirty vs. clean) in their ornament, allegory, let’s say radical, not to say free. Conversely, Ford never uses this figure of the double as embodied by Gyllenhaal , to inspire the slightest anomaly or incongruity in our relationship between the real, theatrical and subject to our codes of representation, and the novel, a place of fantasies and other impulses regressive.
Its part horror film, from the slaher movie the vigilant movie with Michael Shannon as police cancer absolutely awesome, respects the codes of the genre but does not exceed ever. Only the allegory, which, however, is not the essence of the fable, seems to have a real interest in the eyes of Ford. It is she who should be brought out of this reverie dirty, but not any expression of the human madness or an evil inherent in the human being. The parallel montage that introduces then Ford to realize this is laborious, and too demonstrative. Between overs and sounds symmetrical, the film deploys these visual effects as fireworks virtuosic supposed to confirm the power of the staging is deceptively subtle of its director. This use of allegory enriches, admittedly, the idea – that of the destruction of a couple and the loss of a child aborted – and also facilitates its receipt by making it ostensibly sensitive. But the style fordien, here is totally at the service of an allegorical interpretation is supposed to multiply everything by hiding his meaning, seems to be sometimes closer to the stereotypy that emotion unique.
“If the fable of Ford delivers a message pessimistic about the existential void that is the life of Susan, it must also be understood that the viewer will be hard pressed to commiserate on the fate of this woman, as glacial, that the immaculate whiteness of his skin.”
If the root traumatic eventually be clearly identified as such and that the resultant wound is still raw, the outcome gave birth to a non-event, “revenge” is almost ironic that condemns the character of Susan in an infinite sadness, lost between all her dresses of top fashion designers and the huge size of his villa in california. And this is not because Susan takes off two or three jewelry before going to his last appointment that she can ” buy ” the pardon of Edward. If the story of Ford delivers a message pessimistic about the existential void that is the life of Susan, the filmmaker must also understand that the viewer will be hard pressed to commiserate on the fate of this woman, as glacial, that the immaculate whiteness of her skin. The theme of loneliness and emptiness, as a result of choice and morals in decadent of our consumer society, are ideas which are, however, never worked by the body of the film, that is to say that neither the shape of the “real” world, or the fictional end of the novel, participate in a change of nature and are in solidarity, and operators of reflexivity. The style of the aesthetician Ford, all of this ornamentation allegorical (the logic of “vertical” than”horizontal” alas!”), is ultimately of no movement, no dynamics within the characters, all frozen in their appearance, first as the is reductive thinking of its filmmaker. The allegory eventually domesticate the meaning of images.
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