hopscotchee: jake gyllenhaal score: 81 rating: R time: 116 minutes
whoa!! right from the start, this dark and mysterious movie allures you in, keeping you on the edge of your seat - no - within the first twenty minutes, there's no chair. you're completely off your seat at this point. this movie was super enticing that you'll be leaning, curious, scene by scene all the way to the end. so, we hope you have a comfy bean bag, because nocturnal animals is floor movie!!
what made this movie most captivating was the fact that it followed two stories, doubling your interest. you were just as fascinated by the emotional impact that receiving the book had on susan and her career, as tony and bobby's hunt to seek justice entangled itself further. the contrast between the book and reality was, cinematically, so genius, because it drew emphasis on both of the characters' agony. the idea of conveying their shared tragedy through a dark crime was so impactful, because it used an awful and despicable event to signify the character's heated and hurtful relationship.
at the same time, for such a gritty and heart-racing story, this film was beyond beautiful. like, can we please get a spotlight for the lighting department?! ahh!!!! night shots in general are pretty difficult to shoot and get the quality right, due to the lack of light, so to have a film set primarily during the night, especially in west texas, where when it's dark, it's really dark, was uber impressive, because this was the first film that we have see with such precise and clear night scenes. and we cannot simply skip out on mentioning the makeup. those contours, mainly noticed between (spoiler) the switch of jake gyllenhaal's two characters, from youthful to rugged, created a poignant distinction between the moods and intensities of each reality, while playing hand to hand with susan's emotional transformation from past and present.
also, although amy adams and jake gyllenhaal made the cover of the movie, headlining it, a closer attention should be brought to the other names beside them. michael shannon and aaron taylor-johnson, who were rightfully up for academy awards for these roles, took their performances to another level, subsequently adding to jake's performance, while equally standing alone in their talent. this role, definitely, dubbed michael shannon forever the name murderous mickey shay. he was so into character that it felt like the casting agents didn't pick michael shannon for this role but actually found bobby andes, a local detective in west texas, and brought him a part of the project to tell his story. especially, after watching knives out, it's like, walt, who?? this just proves that mickey shay's not one to mess with and should be regarded with the highest esteem. and, now our boy quicksilver. . . .did you have to make us look like freakin' psychopaths, smiling, gobsmacked, at how unbelievably unsettling your character was, yet how well you embraced the insanity of ray marcus, that guiltily had us awaiting for your return to the screen. it was bonkers-legit the craziest thing we've seen. major claps go to both of them, because they had us caught in the riptide of the ocean-of-emotion called nocturnal animals.
and also, the costume crew!! we think about ray's green cowboy boots all the time. sears, they were absolutely amazing, tom ford should've gotten a close up.
although we'd like to end it here, we unfortunately have to call it out one thing: we're from texas, and those were not texas accents. aaron taylor-johnson did the best, or was the closest out of the compilation of southern accents, however, we didn't feel like this took away from the overall effect of the film. it was just a small detail, that was worth mentioning.
-- thanks, jakey xo