Saturday, 12 November 2016

#75 NOCTURNAL ANIMALS


Starring: Lois Lane, Donny Darko, General Zod, Kickass and The Lone Ranger. Written and directed by Tom Ford. Budget $22.5 Million. 116 minutes long. 15 cert.

"Look mummy, the Emperor is naked!"

Yes, welcome to yet another Emperor's new clothing film, a film that critics are lauding as 'Superb', 'extraordinary', 'intoxicating', 'electrifying', 'exquisite' 'winner' and '5 star'. It's a film art directed to within an inch of it's, oh-so painfully exquisitely angst-ridden life.

Providing us, the audience with no explanation, the film throws us right in at the deep end, with Lois Lane having given up on the journalism in Metropolis to run an art gallery in LA. Her marriage to the Lone Ranger is failing, although what happened to Superman is never explained. It turns out that Lois used to be married to Donny Darko but she divorced him for the Ranger, because Donny's short stories were a bit boring. So he gets his revenge by spending the next 20 odd years writing a book called Nocturnal Animals and dedicating it to her. It's the story of how a loving husband and father deals with the brutal and savage abduction and murder of his wife and daughter and teams up with General Zod to exact a satisfying revenge on Kickass. Confused? You won't be.

What starts out as an exciting new comic book inspired movie about what comic book characters get up to when they're not fighting crime, this soon deteriorates into a turgid, topor inducing plod through the lives of utterly tedious 1st world people who seem to think their crushingly empty lives amount to more than a hill of beans.

Offering us three story arcs, one: the book played out, two: Lois and Donny's early life together and three: the Lois and the Lone Ranger's story. Of the three, the best part, which is also the part without Lois, sees Donny and General Zod fighting Kickass.

Everyone acts their little cotton socks off, and Tom, 'oh my god, he's amazing!' Ford directs the proceedings by picking out the best lamps and furnishing and framing every conversation piece as a head shot and reaction, over and over again. Never do we see the two characters talking in the same shot.

I've been told the film is beautifully shot and sure there are loads of scenic shots of the beautiful countryside of Texas, but in the same week when I also rewatched Ryan's Daughter, this just looked like a bloke given 22.5 million dollars and told to piss it up a wall.

Boring, tedious, self-indulgent and utterly pointless.

Stay at home and watch Ryan's Daughter instead. It's a David Lean film from 1970 starring Sir John Mills, Robert Mitchum, Trevor Howard and Sarah Miles. Now there's true art direction and cinematography wrapped up in a small personal story of genuine pathos and tragedy, not this sweaty old ball-bag of balls.

4/10

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