I saw Tom Ford’s recently released film Nocturnal Animals on Christmas Day. A holiday movie it is not but I’m glad I saw it for the cinematography and sets. The story is based on the book Tony and Susan and follows art gallery owner Susan Morrow, played by Amy Adams, who receives a book proof from her ex-husband Edward Sheffield, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, which causes her to reevaluate her life choices.
The film is actually three stories in one. The first is the contemporary life of Susan and her second husband Hutton Morrow, played by Armie Hammer, and their very slick and elegant art filled world. The second is the story that plays out from the book which features her ex husband as the lead character who’s family is terrorized by a group of men while traveling in Texas. The third story centers on the flashbacks of Susan and Edward when they were younger.
As production designer Shane Valentino told Architectural Digest, each has their own look and feel. The cold and hard edged home of Susan and Hutton which is located in Malibu was actually featured in AD in 2014. If you have a really good eye, you will also notice that a party scene in the film is set at the modern Holmby Hills house of designer Michael S. Smith.
While much of the Texas story is disturbing and hard to watch, I loved the look of Susan’s life and home and wish there had been more to see. This film also has me anxious for a third film by Tom Ford but I know that might take a few years. Such a pity.