Nocturnal Animals  

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About the art in the film: "They're gifts for art lovers and cinephiles alike, from the work of Calder (23 Snowflakes) to Currin (Nude in Convex Mirror), Hirst (Saint Sebastian, Exquisite Pain), Motherwell (Untitled (Elegy)), Schnabel (Untitled), and of course, Andy Warhol (Shadow), Nocturnal Animals is full of them."[1]


Did Susan actually have a daughter?[2]

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Nocturnal Animals is a 2016 American neo-noir psychological thriller film written, co-produced and directed by Tom Ford, based on the 1993 novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright. The film stars Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal, is a rape and revenge story and features a story within a story.

Contents

Plot

The Real World

Angeleno art gallery owner Susan Morrow receives the manuscript for a novel penned by her estranged ex-husband Edward Sheffield along with an invitation for dinner during Edward's upcoming visit to Los Angeles. Marred by her deteriorating marriage to unfaithful businessman Hutton Morrow, Susan becomes consumed by the novel, which is both dedicated to her and named Nocturnal Animals after Edward's nickname for her.

The Novel

Tony Hastings is a peaceful man who runs afoul of three local troublemakers – Ray Marcus, Lou, and Turk – during a road trip through West Texas. Forced off the road, Tony is powerless to stop Ray and Turk from kidnapping his wife Laura and their daughter India, and leaving him with Lou, who forces him to drive Ray's car to the end of a road where he is abandoned. Tony manages to evade Ray and Lou when they return looking for him and makes his way to a nearby farmhouse to call the police.

Detective Bobby Andes is assigned to the case and discovers Laura and India's bodies near an abandoned shack where they were raped and murdered. Tony is wracked with guilt. He is contacted by Andes a year later and is asked to identify Lou, who is charged as an accomplice in the murders of Laura and India.

Turk has been fatally shot in a botched robbery, leaving Ray as the final culprit to be brought to justice. Andes arrests Ray, but is ultimately forced to release him as they only have circumstantial evidence of his involvement. On the verge of retirement and having been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, Andes decides to take matters into his own hands and with Tony's help abducts Ray and Lou to the shack where Laura and India were killed. Andes shoots Lou when he attempts to escape, but Ray succeeds in getting away.

Tony tracks Ray down on his own and the two have a violent confrontation, in which Ray admits to raping and murdering Tony's wife and daughter, calling him weak. Tony fatally shoots him, but is blinded when Ray hits him on the head with an iron bar. Tony stumbles outside, succumbing to his brain hemorrhage, and dies after falling on his gun, shooting himself in the stomach in the process.

The Real World (cont.)

Shocked by the dark content and raw emotion of the novel, Susan reminisces about meeting Edward in college and their blossoming relationship, which Susan's domineering mother Anne Sutton objected to, claiming that Edward was not worthy of Susan's affections and that because of his romantic worldviews, he lacked the drive to actually achieve his goals; Susan ignored her mother's objections, ultimately marrying Edward.

After finding further evidence of Hutton's extramarital affair, Susan resumes reading the manuscript. Susan begins to recall her troubled marriage to Edward, which was strained by her frustration with his fledgling career and her dismissive attitude towards his literary aspirations, and culminated with Susan cheating on him with Hutton and ultimately divorcing Edward to marry him. Edward attempted to repair their relationship, but ultimately cut ties with Susan upon learning that she was pregnant with his child but secretly had an abortion to ensure the divorce proceeded.

Susan realizes that the novel is an allegory for the loss Edward endured during their separation and that he dedicated the novel to her as a form of revenge, having sent the manuscript to prove to her that he was capable of writing a successful novel. Susan reevaluates her current behavior and contacts Edward. She arranges a meeting with him in hopes of mending their relationship, but Edward does not show up, making it clear that he does not forgive her while also leaving her as heartbroken as she made him.

Cast

The film stars Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, Karl Glusman and Michael Sheen.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Nocturnal Animals" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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