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Nocturnal Animals (2016)

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A wealthy art gallery owner receives a draft of her ex-husband's new novel, and once she starts reading it she just cannot put it down.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 132 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Storyline

A "story inside a story," in which the first part follows a woman named Susan who receives a book manuscript from her ex-husband, a man whom she left 20 years earlier, asking for her opinion. The second element follows the actual manuscript, called "Nocturnal Animals," which revolves around a man whose family vacation turns violent and deadly. It also continues to follow the story of Susan, who finds herself recalling her first marriage and confronting some dark truths about herself.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When you love someone you can't just throw it away


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, menace, graphic nudity, and language | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

9 December 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tony and Susan  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$492,648 (USA) (18 November 2016)

Gross:

$10,639,114 (USA) (20 January 2017)
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Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some parts of the musical score were clearly inspired in Philip Glass and Bernard Herrmann's style. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Tony Hastings: I should have stopped it!
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Soundtracks

Baudelaire
Written and Performed by Serge Gainsbourg
Courtesy of Mercury France
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Stylish and Thrilling
26 September 2016 | by (Miami) – See all my reviews

With a sudden thump on the window a wild bird is stunned. It is reduced to a heap of feathers and a barely beating heart. Through fantastic imagery, talented and stylish actors at the top of their game, an amazing and fastidious director, and an enthralling and thrilling story, the characters in the film go through transformations similar to that of the dazed bird. So did I. The film resonated deeply with me. "I just can't do this anymore." I was shocked with this line that was said to me in the same situation and manner.

Despite her wealth and ownership of a Los Angeles art gallery, Susan (Amy Adams) is troubled by the absences and indifference of her husband. She unexpectedly receives a manuscript from Tony (Jake Gyllenhaal), her long estranged ex-husband. Passages from the manuscript contain eerie parallels to her past and present life. Reality is strangely infused into the story line. As Susan reads, memories and emotions come flooding back. She struggled with unhappiness then. Despite significant life changes, she still struggles with it. She let go of a good man, yet maybe because she needed to. This is what she tells herself.

In Ford's stellar and meticulously made film, even side conversations have substance and pictures on walls are connected to the story line. Certain scenes alone make the film worth watching. This includes an unorthodox interrogation by actor Michael Shannon. Shannon is extremely ruthless and convincing. Laura Linney appears as Susan's mother. She is even more brutal, in her own way, than Shannon. In a separate flashback scene, where all that is heard is a heartbeat, I was spellbound. The unexpected ending, the even more surprising opening, the twists and turns, and depth of the film, thrilled and delighted me. Tom Ford's background in the design industry is apparent in the spectacular lighting, stylish clothes and sophisticated dialogue. In the second showing of the film in North America, Ford received a standing ovation. I stood too. I loved listening to him talk and teasing people in the front row for distracting him with their cell phone cameras. His theme; do not let go of love if and when you find it. Seen at the Toronto International Film Festival.


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