“Nocturnal Animals”: a Story-within-a-Story of Weakness and Betrayal

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.

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