TIFF16 DAY FIVE: BOOK READING & PROPOGANDA

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS (TOM FORD)

When a filmmaker like Tom Ford sets out to make a story we all love to start by discussing the film’s beauty. However, before I state the obvious, I want to talk about the story of this film.

Susan (Amy Adams) is the ex-wife of Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal). Edward sends out a book to her which ends up being a story of a father, Tony (Gyllenhaal) going on a family trip with his daughter and wife only to be forced off the road and made into a life changing exchange with a local bad boy, Ray (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).

The film switches from the world of Susan’s perfected life where she’s becoming unwound due to suspicions of her current husband’s, Hutton (Armie Hammer), fidelity; and that of Edward’s book. The beauty of this film is not just in Ford’s camera work but how he visually ties these two worlds together. The wife in the book look similar to Susan, Laura (Isla Fischer), and a lot of the sets hold key similarities that we notice as time goes on. It becomes painfully obvious that the violent world in the book is a reflection of his feelings for his ex-wife in the real world after what we discover in the third act. However, things like a red couch, picture of a western desert, and such keep tying them together in such a wonderfully gorgeous manner that you can’t help but love everything about this movie.

What’s most surprising is how much this felt like Tom Ford making a David Lynch film. It has it’s mysteries that warrant you looking closer and closer. It has that eerie score asking you to peek around each corner. However, unlike many Lynch films, it has a more finely structured plot that can be followed.

THEIR FINEST (LONE SHERFIG)

Their Finest is a film about the British Film council creating propoganda films during WWII. With the help of a few writers and a washed up older actor they try to tell a story of two brave women during the retreat of Dunkirk. The film is sentimental, loving, touching, sad, and at the same time perfectly rife with humour.

This is what I call a perfect “mom” movie. It’s the movie you won’t claim to love but is better than many other fodder, especially thanks to people like Bill Nighy, and your mom will love. We get to look back to those days when women were given working opportunities just because they needed to send all the able bodied men to war. So you get to enjoy condescending looks and just general nonsense while we have a cute wink throughout all of it as if to say we know where this all goes.

We hear them call the ladies dialogue “the slob” and we laugh. We watch as her job gets more and more important only as the story makes it more and more about her love interests. It’s what it is. It’s predictable, but generally entertaining, while still pandering to the era rather than taking it to task for what was then and what is now.

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Author: Andrew Robinson

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  • I so want to see Nocturnal Animals not just because of Tom Ford but also the cast which also includes Jena Malone as Amy Adams’ assistant.