Director: Tom Ford Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhall, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson Running Time: 116 minutes
A family on a road trip is run off the road by a car of dangerous, drunk men. The score goes deathly silent. There are many voices, but everything is shot in darkness and we don’t know half of the characters and everyone is talking over each other. It’s disorienting. Faux-friendliness and sudden social rules set up to be arbitrarily broken. And punished. Fake offense. Say the wrong thing and get in trouble. Say nothing and get in trouble. It’s a nightmare scenario we all fear, some more than others, one where everything goes wrong at once and it’s impossible to keep track of the situation as it spins rapidly out of control. Suddenly, Jake Gyllenhall is outside his car and his wife, teenage daughter and the dangerous drunk men are inside. The men drive away. Lives are ruined and ended. The audience’s stomachs collectively drop out.
But it isn’t real. It’s just a story Amy Adams is reading. But then that isn’t real either. It’s all still tense and horrifying. It’s Nocturnal Animals.