As 2016 draws to a close, it is the ideal time to reflect upon a fantastic year for film. Though the major tentpoles disappointed and suggest that the Big Hollywood machine is starting to sputter, this may be the single best year for film of the century, and I intend to argue the merits of each film on my Top Ten List.
Nocturnal Animals is fashion designer Tom Ford’s second feature film as both writer and director, and once again he has delivered a nuanced film full of emotion, sadness, and intrigue. Starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal, the film is a peculiar mixture of crime thriller and relationship melodrama, married through an inventive “story-within-a-story” structural device: the main character reads a manuscript of her ex-husband’s novel, and the film’s narrative ping-pongs between the real world and the world of the novel. As the procedural story unravels in the novel, we learn more about the relationship between these two characters in multiple flashbacks.