Tony and Susan’s Nocturnal Animals, Part II

Ross Staff Image

Last Thursday, the teaser trailer for Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals dropped, and it looks terrific, somehow like both a Lynchian AND Hitchcockian thriller.

An adaptation of Austin Wright’s 1993 novel, Tony and SusanI’ve been eagerly anticipating Nocturnal Animals ever since I read the book last summer. In the interim, I familiarized myself with Ford’s filmography. It wasn’t hard; his only previous film is 2009’s hauntingly beautiful A Single Man (which I highly recommend), a film that really excels at showcasing a life bifurcated by loss, balancing grief against a typified day. Such a stark contrast is inherently similar to Wright’s novel insofar as contrasting Susan’s (Amy Adams) life against her ex-husband Edward’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) manuscript. While it seems that some things have been changed for the film—a necessary evil with adaptations—the basic plot of Wright’s novel remains, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Tony and Susan

From the trailer, we can already see that Nocturnal Animals looks gorgeous. Ford, a fashion designer who’s worked with Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, clearly has an eye for designing a film’s look. His wonderful visuals will represent the dichotomy between Susan’s life and Tony’s, the main character in Edward’s manuscript (also played by Gyllenhaal). Susan’s real life has a sterility to it, colored by muted, if not still very fashionable, colors. The fictional world of Tony and the manuscript, by comparison, is almost over-saturated in rich, earthy colors. By using these different palettes, Ford is giving us a glimpse into Susuan’s psyche—she perceives the world her ex-husband created as more vibrant than her own. If the film’s narrative is even half as good as its visuals, I think we’ll have something very special on our hands.

Speaking of the cast, Nocturnal Animals is worth seeing for the actors alone. Maybe this film will finally win both Gyllenhaal and Adams their overdue Oscars. Even Aaron Taylor-Johnson (of Kick-Ass and Age of Ultron fame) looks like he’s giving a career-changing performance. The film also features Michael Shannon, Isla Fisher, Laura Linney, Michael Sheen and Andrea Riseborough. That’s a pretty spectacular assemblage of talent.

Nocturnal Animals opens in select theaters November 18.

Read It Before You See It

Click here to reserve Tony and Susan

Ross works as a Clerk at the Mt. Washington branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He loves reading books and watching movies and will often ramble about the two here. He also loves Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams and regularly envisions living a happy life with them.