Why everyone is talking about Tom Ford's new movie Noctural Animals

Stylish, smart and beautiful - Ford's latest film is the personification of its maker

BAFTAs 2017
(Image credit: Courtesy)

Stylish, smart and beautiful - Ford's latest film is the personification of its maker

It’s been seven years since Tom Ford made his directorial debut with A Single Man. He’s finally following up the widely praised, Colin Firth-starring movie with Noctural Animals, a cheery rom com starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal.

JK it looks dark AF and the Internet is going wild over it.

With positive reviews at Venice Film Festival 2016 - including scooping the Grand Jury Prize – the movie is not only critically acclaimed, its second trailer, which has just been released, is awesome and hype is building accordingly (especially in the MC offices).

Ford took on the dual role as screenwriter and director for the gripping tale-within-a-tale revenge thriller. The story is adapted from Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan, and sees Susan (played by Adams) unravelling after her ex-husband Tony (Gyllenhaal) sends her a book he’s written which she interprets to be a veiled threat. The estranged pair haven’t seen each other for almost two decades, yet Tony has dedicated his new book to her. The trailer teases why they split, as Adams is shown saying: ‘I did something horrible to him. I left him in a brutal way.’ So far, so creepy.

The super-suave fashion designer-turned-filmmaker - who describes Susan’s character as ‘autobiographical’ - revealed that the only criticism he’s received so far is that the film is too ‘beautiful’: ‘I have to say, luckily most of the reviews of Nocturnal Animals have been terrific,' he told the Guardian. ‘But the very few criticisms have been that’s it’s too beautiful, too stylised. I think if I didn’t have another life as a fashion designer I wouldn’t be hearing that and people wouldn’t be judging that.


‘Not comparing myself to Hitchcock,' he continued, ‘but I’ll use him as an example. He was notorious for spending weeks on his leading ladies’ hair, makeup, look, clothes. What most directors do is intentional: how they frame something, whether it’s composed or not composed is part of telling the story. In this particular case, that very hard, lacquered, manufactured, glamorous life is part of the story. It’s key to understanding who Susan is and how she lives. It isn’t just random because I wanted to see some beautiful clothes and beautiful hair and beautiful makeup. This is part of the story.’

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney and Michael Sheen also star in the hotly-anticipated film, which will hit theatres on November 4.

Gillian Brett