Movie review: Nocturnal Animals

Movie reviews

Hello!

Welcome to another Amy Adams movie review. A few back, I discussed Arrival and today, I’m giving you my thoughts on Nocturnal Animals.

IMDb summary: An art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a veiled threat and a symbolic revenge tale.

In short, I would describe Nocturnal Animals as Hell or High Water and The Neon Demon put together. The more glamorous parts of the film (the bourgeoisie and the art scene), as well as the stylistic look of it, reminded me of The Neon Demon (plus, Demon was about the fashion world, Animals directed by a fashion designer), while the grittier parts – the book’s plot – were reminiscent of Hell or High Water both visually and thematically.

The fashion designer Tom Ford both wrote, directed, and produced Nocturnal Animals. This was his second attempt at making a feature film . I’ve not seen his first movie – A Single Man – but he impressed me a lot this time around, so I will most likely check out his debut movie. He successfully transitioned from designing to filmmaking and I’m excited to see what he will come up with next.

Writing and Story

I absolutely loved the clever and intriguing narrative of the film. All the different storylines – the reality, the book’s plot and the flashbacks – were separately interesting and distinctive but I also liked how they were combined and how they mirrored each other. In general,  I would say that the fipm was based on  thematical dichotomies – Texas vs. LA/NY, parents vs. children, felons vs. victims, past vs. present, and book vs. reality – and all of them were super engaging. I also liked the fact that the movie did not take sides: it critiqued both the southern traditional way of life and the uber modern and stylish world of the urban high classes.

Nocturnal Animals also appealed to me because it explored my biggest anxieties: the most obvious one was, of course, all of the events of the book (kidnap, rape, and murder). However, the fear of becoming like my parents and the anxiety which surrounds the uncertainty of my future are both very familiar and deeply personal to me as well. 

The movie had a very open ending and left some questions unanswered. Three theories immediately sprung up in my mind. 1. Maybe the film’s message was that one cannot truly change the past and it might sometimes be too late to say sorry, so that’s why the ex-husband didn’t show up. 2. Maybe, the novel’s events were just the main character’s way of dealing with the past mistakes a.k.a. putting ideas into a narrative and the ex-husband wasn’t actually a real person. 3. Maybe the book was just one big suicide note and that’s why he didn’t show up?  I’m probably totally wrong but it is fun to speculate and think about it.

Directing and Visuals

Nocturnal Animals had an interesting blend of visuals: it mixed urban lights with rural desserts. I especially loved all the landscape shots – the framed stills would make for some amazing photographs. The way modern art was used in the film was also interesting. I, personally, don’t get modern art but I can appreciate it. However, I got to say – I was a bit weirded out by the opening of the film (nudity) and wasn’t entirely sure if I was even in the right screening. However, I think that that was the point of the scene – it was meant to shock and to showcase the eccentric world of art that the film’s main character inhabited.

Nocturnal Animals was a perfect example of a successfully and tastefully stylized movie. Tom Ford’s design background and eye for textures and colors really assisted him in the choice of visuals. In addition, he dealt with the pacing of the picture very well: it was slow but never dragged – it was suspenseful and mesmerizing without beeing cliche.

Music and Soundtrack

Abel Korzeniowski did the soundtrack for the film. I really liked the instrumental score: it fit both the visuals and the narrative nicely. My favorite track was the one that sounded like the sextet from the movie Cloud Atlas. That particular track accompanied a variety of scenes and was also played during the credits.

Acting

The film had a stellar cast. Amy Adams was magnificent – I liked her performance even more than the Arrival one. Her eye-acting was mesmerizing. I also loved the way the movie played with the fact that Amy Adams’s and Isla Fisher’s look very similar. Jake Gyllenhaal was also brilliant – he lost himself in the role as he usually does. Michael Shannon was also a stand-out – loved his cool yet realistic portrayal of the detective. Lastly, Aaron Taylor-Johnson completely surprised me – this was probably his best role that I have seen yet just because it felt like the most challenging one. He was so good as the crazy, cocky, and eccentric felon. Armie Hammer also appeared in the film in his signature role of  ‘a white privileged businessman’.

Cast’s movie recommendations:

In short, Nocturnal Animals was beautifully stylized film, which also had important themes and interesting narrative ideas to match its gritty and glamorous visuals. The acting was also top-notch.

Rate: 4.5/5

Trailer: Nocturnal Animals trailer

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Nails: Shades of Pink

Beauty&Fashion

Good day!

For this week’s beauty post I decided to try my hand once again at nail art.This nail style requires zero experience and it is not super original what so ever. I just thought it looks nice and interesting but still simple.

First of all, you will need to pick a color. I went for a pink color not because I am too girly but because it is summer and pink is a very summery color. And lately I had been wearing a lot of print and these prints have a lot of pink-ish details to them.

After you have chosen a color, look through your nail polishes and pick 5 different shades of that color. Try to mix and match them: pick one darker, one lighter, couple of sparkly ones, couple of solid ones and you can even go for a matte nail polish.

I have chosen quite bold pink/orange/coral color for my thumb (Maybelline Colorama 91) – try to make your thumb the boldest of the nails, it will be like a delicate accent to the whole hand.

I painted my index finger with a sparkly light pink polish from Rimmel London 60 seconds line.

My middle finger has almost the same shade as my index finger does but the polish is solid not sparkly – Lotus Effect 55K.

My ring finger and little finger also have similar violet/grey/pinky shade on them. Ring finger is painted with a translucent polish with big sparkles (Uma cosmetics duo nail polish 01) while little finger has shiny grey polish with violet undertones from Avon (nail wear pro 021).

All the nails are painted with double coat of color nail polish and also a single coat of top coat. I also would like to mention that this kind of nail style lasted almost two weeks on my nails with minimal damage and chips.

I hope that you like this kind of idea for nails. You can use a different color and find shades that you like and truly make it your own.

Photos of polish bottles and the final product bellow. Bye!

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Nails: TFIOS design

Beauty&Fashion

Hello!
The hottest thing right now in pop culture is the movie The Fault In Our Stars. As I am a huge fan of this story (John Green is a genius for writing such an exquisite book), I have decided to try my hand at nail art inspired by TFIOS..
This is a super simple, minimalistic design for those who don’t have any tools for nails and don’t want to spend a lot of time on them. Shall we begin?

First of all you will need a blue nail polish. Try to find yourself a blue color that resembles the color of TFIOS book cover. I used Maybelline New York nail polish COLORAMA in 651. Then get yourself a few toothpicks for painting. The last thing – black and white nail polish. Mine are both form a brand called Buk. I think they are only sold where I live. For finishing touches you will need a topcoat and some nail polish remover to clean around your nails if you are as messy as me.

Instructions:
1.Paint all you nails with blue color. Let them dry completely – this is important because when you try to paint something on them, you will just smudge everything into one color if their are not dry.
2. Pick a nail you will paint your cloud symbols on. I chose my left hand’s index finger.
3. Start by slowly painting the outline of the white cloud at the bottom of you nail with a toothpick. When you feel happy with the outline, color the inside of it and let it dry.
4. Get another clean toothpick a paint a black outline of the cloud at the top of your nail. Remember: the clouds have to touch (the black one is slightly covering the top of the white one).
5. Let the clouds dry completely and put on a topcoat.
6. The next thing you might do is pick another finger: I chose my right hand’s thumb. Here I painted a little question mark to resemble the Okay? question. If you want to do that, paint it by using a toothpick and a black polish. Let it dry completely and put on a topcoat.
7. This is where I stopped, because I like to have some nails that are plain, just colored with one color. But you don’t have to follow me. If you are more advanced than I am in nail art, I suggest you paint more clouds with Okay? Okay. written on them or a cigarette to recall Gus metaphor, an infinity sign, TFIOS abbreviation or something else that reminds you of the beautiful story of Hazel and Augustus. When, don’t forget to paint a layer of topcoat and by using an ear pick clean the outsides of you nail. The product is finished:)

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I hope you liked this kinda different post about nails. I hope it has been helpful. Bye:)