Thursday, July 18, 2024

Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scialfa Help Launch Tom Ford’s Very Cool New Movie “Nocturnal Animals”


Big premiere last night of Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals,” a cool cool film that should produce Oscar buzz for Michael Shannon, Amy Adams, and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Jake was a no show, but Amy, Tom, and Michael were there at the Monkey Bar for the festivities. So were Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa, who must be fans of Tom Ford’s super expensive designs– although I’ve only seen them wear jeans. Maybe it’s the sunglasses!

“Nocturnal Animals” is like two good movies for the price of one. Amy and Armie Hammer are part of a cool modern story that’s a little like Tom Ford’s first film, “A Single Man.” But Amy’s character is reading a book by her ex husband (Jake) that’s something like a Tarantino screenplay. That story also involves Shannon and Aaron Taylor Johnson. The acting is superb and so is the production design.

This is what I wrote from Toronto:

With a heavy nod to Douglas Sirk (and to Todd Haynes, who already saluted Sirk in “Far from Heaven”) Ford mixes that same cool, minimalist feel with what is essentially pulp fiction– a revenge movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon (each doing their best work) within a modern soap opera starring Adams and Armie Hammer as desperately good looking and unhappy rich people. And just so we get it, Amy’s art gallery features a black and white painting of the word REVENGE. Does Ford have to paint us a picture?

Ford is as devoted to Sirk as Brian de Palma is to Hitchock– in fact, I was thinking of “Body Double” a lot during the screening because Ford mimics dePalma’s cool veneer. Polish composer Abel Korzeniowski drives the Sirk reference home and cinematographer Seamus McGarvey manages to make the 50s come alive in 2016.

“Nocturnal Animals” doesn’t open until December 9th, so you know Focus feels it has a big hit to be premiering it so early. They do have a great film here.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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