Day 344: Nocturnal Animals (2016)

nocturnalWhenever there are movies released that feature Jake Gyllenhaal (Demolition), I tend to flock to the local theater to see it because he’s amazing. That was definitely the case for today’s film when I saw that he was starring in the film Nocturnal Animals. Amy Adams (The Arrival) plays art gallery owner Susan Morrow, a woman with too much on her mind who is haunted by her wrongdoings to her ex-husband (Gyllenhaal). 20 years after she left him, he delivers a book for her to read and she soon realizes that it symbolically represents their past relationship in a very twisted way. The story in the book follows a man whose wife and child are abducted, raped, and killed and he seeks revenge for what has happened to them. The film also stars Michael Shannon (Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice) as Bobby Andes, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Avengers: Age Of Ultron) as Ray Marcus, Ilsa Fisher (The Brothers Grimsby) as Laura Hastings, Ellie Bamber (Pride And Prejudice And Zombies) as India Hastings, Armie Hammer (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) as Hutton Morrow, Karl Glusman (The Neon Demon) as Lou, Robert Aramayo (Game Of Thrones) as Turk, Laura Linney (Sully) as Anne Sutton, Michael Sheen (Alice In Wonderland) as Carlos, and the film was directed by Tom Ford (A Single Man).

nocturnal-animals-2016-michael-shannon-aaron-taylor-johnson-jake-gyllenhaal2Spoiler Alert: There may be some information leaked in this paragraph that could give away the film. So either proceed with caution or do not read any further, but you were warned. First of all the film starts off with an uncomfortable sequence of heavily obese women dancing naked and I get it it’s art and that we shouldn’t judge, but it’s just hard to watch. After that, it’s smooth sailing through the rest of the film that is just absolutely amazing and so well written. There is nudity from now and again, but it’s almost in an artistic way and if you love red heads like me then you love this film. Then there is the performances int he film that are just all around amazing from no matter who. Aaron Taylor-Johnson does an amazing job playing a West Texas creep while Michael Shannon plays the detective who will go to any lengths to get his man because he’s dying anyways. Amy Adams is absolutely terrific in the film as this woman who realizes that everything in the book is symbolic of what happened in her life. That is what I loved about the film because the further it goes, the more you realize how connected everything is even though it may not seem that way. For one the story is about a rape and murder of a wife and child and it’s a reflection of their time together. The cinematography is amazing with the different tones that are incorporated into the film and just the overall scenery which becomes a part of the story. This may be one of my favorite films of the year and another Gyllenhaal film that I absolutely loved. I am going to give the film an A+ for a final grade.


Day 245: Demolition (2015)

DEMOLITIONThere are actors in the world that when I see that they star in a certain film, I will watch it whether I know what it is about or not. That is definitely the case nowadays when it comes to Jake Gyllenhaal who I have become a huge fan of and which is why I picked up his film Demolition. Davis Mitchell (Gyllenhaal) is a successful investment banker who seems to have it all until his wife is tragically killed in a car accident. The event turns Davis’s life upside down until he receives a phone call from a customer service rep named Karen (Naomi Watts). With the help of her and her very eccentric son (Judah Lewis), Davis will try to rebuild his life, but he has to demolish the old memories in order to move on. The film also stars Chris Cooper (The Bourne Identity) as Phil, C.J. Wilson (The Magic Of Belle Isle) as Skip, Polly Draper (Side Effects) as Margot, Debra Monk (The Bridges Of Madison County) as Davis’s Mom, Heather Lind (Mistress America) as Julia, Wass Stevens (House Of Cards) as Jimmy, Blaire Brooks (Half Brother) as Amy, Brendan Dooling (The Carrie Diaries) as Todd, and the film was directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club).

96310627demolition-culture-xlarge_trans++fXEeYQxpWLzsKpj6iiV1cig4DlLAmRt6d8D2mO5jdakThe first thing I want to talk about is obviously the performance of Jake Gyllenhaal which was absolutely brilliant. You literally see a guy without a care in the world go to a complete wreck before he is brought back to life again right before your very eyes. Jake absolutely nailed the role as he captured the essence of what the character was going through. While the dynamic of Gyllenhaal and Watts relationship was interesting, it was actually his relationship with her son in the film that is even more interesting. He has no intention of being a father figure to this wayward teen, but he ends up becoming a very good friend to him. You see the relationship bloom right before your very eyes and Judah’s character learns to be free. One of my favorite scenes in the film is a couple of them that go together. Judah’s character goes into the garage and starts jamming out to a track which is followed by Gyllenhaal joining him. The other one is Gyllenhaal running through the streets of New York dancing to the music that has just been downloaded. Usually I would think those scenes were corny, but they actually served a purpose. It’s the start of the budding of their relationship and it’s apart of a phase for Gyllenhaal when he is starting to let things go. If you are a fan of cinema and independent films then this is definitely one to pick up and watch. The cinematography, editing, and the acting were all great. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.