Do You Ever Feel Like Your Life Has Turned into Something You Never Intended?: Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Do you ever feel like your life has turned into something you never intended?

So when the trailer first aired I remember watching it and it catching my interest as they marketed it as a film noir/thriller.

Oh?

We added it at the library and a patron immediately checked it out. When he brought it back I asked him what he thought and he told me he did not like it. He thought it was a bomb and a waste of time never to be brought back again.

I heard what he said, but was still curious and wanted to watch it.

I should’ve listened.

This film was not good.

I really wanted to stop watching it but it was like when you see the police or ambulances on the side if the road, you can’t stop yourself from looking as a part of you just has to know.

So the film is told in three ways: Present, Novel, and Flashbacks. It is extremely artsy and just brimming over the top full of symbolism. I’m just going to skip it as it would take forever to discuss all the choices and what they mean in accordance to the film.

It has some extremely weird choices. The whole beginning is like 15 mins of naked fat women dancing. Seriously, no one needs to be that “artistic”. Mostly the thoughts going through my head in this film were “what am I watching?” “Why am I wasting my time on this?”

Why am I watching it.

Present:

So we start with Susan Morrow (Amy Adams). She is not happy with her life.

Years ago she married the man she loved, childhood friend Edward Sheffield (Jake Gyllenhaal), but left him when he didn’t provide the stability her upper class debutante background needed.

She left him for the handsome, charming, ambitious Hutton Morrow (yuck, Armie Hammer). I hate Armie Hammer as an actor, not person-I mean I don’t even know him. No matter the role I just find him insufferable and want to punch his smarmy face.

Anyways, Hutton seemed perfect-but that did not last.

Ugh

Their relationship is in tatters as he is always gone on “business”, they are going broke and have to sell their art collection, and yes he is cheating on her. Susan spends her days alone, lonely, bored, and unhappy. She has always regretted her choice to leave Edward, but even more now when she sees how badly she has chosen.

She has been thinking of Edward a lot lately, and speak of the devil-he finally reaches out to her after all these years. He was trying to write a book back when they were together, and he finally has finished one-one that will be published in a few months. He sends a proof to Susan to read-dedicating it to her and calling it Nocturnal Animals, his pet name for her.

She starts reading it, and soon it is the only thing that keeps her going each day-the story drawing her in and connecting to how she feels.

Novel:

Tony Hastings (Jake Gyllenhaal), his wife Laura (Isla Fisher), and daughter are all traveling to visit their aunt Martha. They decide to drive through the night, but are run off the road by some very dangerous guys.

The men attack them, yell, and abuse them and take off with the the women, stranding Tony in the middle of nowhere. When Tony manages to survive the desert and get help they discover his wife and child dead-beat, suffocated, and raped.

He and Detective Bobby Andes (Michael Shannon) team up to try and discover these murders, hunting them down. We see Tony’s grief, guilt, and struggle of what happened that night.

Flashbacks:

As Susan reads she remembers her life with Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal) more and more. How they ran into each other in grad school and she married him to find her way and because she loved him. How her mom warned her about their differences in thoughts and ambition. She remembers how things started to fall apart because she couldn’t believe in Edward. How he tried to fight for them. And how she made the biggest mistake of her life.

So yeah. I didn’t like this film at all. First of all there is no growth in the character of Susan. She marries Tony as she feels lost and likes his idealism, she goes with Hutton because of his stability, and then she is looking back at Edward because she wants romance. All she can think of is to run to a man to get away from her unhappiness. But the problem is her-not the men. She will always be unhappy until she can have some introspection. She should seriously consider just being by herself for a bit.

Get it together!

None of the other characters either really endeared me to them.

I did think Jake Gyllenhaal was phenomenal in this as the Tony Hastings’ character. I was blown away by his powerful performance and how he really captured the role.

Wow!

Plus where was the mystery???? Where????

And she aborted her husband’s baby! And to make that worse she had her lover she was cheating on her husband with take her!

I would just pass this film on by.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to This is a Bad One, the Worst Yet. I Need the Old Blade Runner…: Blade Runner (1982)

For more Amy Adams, go to I Choose You: Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (2008)

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I Choose You: Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (2008)

Most Romantic Moment #13

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 Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (2008)

This film takes place shortly before the “official” start of WWII in London, England. The film is based on the novel of the same name, published in 1938

 Miss Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) is a governess/nanny, who has quite some trouble keeping a job. At the start of the film she is fired and denied her pay. She bumps into a young man who mentions he has just been released from prison and flees from him, leaving her luggage behind. She heads to a soup line, but gets bumped into again and loses her meal. This noise attracts the attention of a fashionably dressed couple from across the way

The next day Miss Pettigrew heads over to the employment agency where she learns that after her last firing, she has run out of chances. While she is pleading, the phones rings and a Delysia Lafosse asks for a person to be sent over. While the people at the employment agency are distracted, Miss Pettigrew takes off with the address in hopes of getting the job.

When she reaches Delysia Lafosse’s apartment, she finds an undressed, half-asleep woman (Amy Adams). After Miss Pettigrew introdices herself and tells her what time it is, Delysia gets freaked out as she has to have the entire apartment cleaned up, with Phil up and out of there. Miss Pettigrew tells her she will help get her little boy out, only to discover that Phil is not a little boy, but one of Delysia’s boyfriends. You see Delysia wasn’t asking for a governess, but she needed a social secretary. Anyways, Delysia is sleeping with Phil in order to get the part in the musical he is producing and her big chance to become a real star. The only problem? Delysia’s other boyfriend, boss, and the man paying for her clothes, food, and apartment; Nick is on his way and will NOT be happy if he finds Delysia with another man. With the help of Miss Pettigrew Phil is out the door, and shortly Nick is bumped out too.

Then the two head off to a fashion show where Delysia’s friend, Edythe Dubarry, is showing some pieces. Edythe is dating the famous underclothing designer, Joe Blomfield (Ciarán Hinds). Edythe and Joe are on the outs as Joe thinks Edythe is cheating on him as she was out when he called her the night before. Miss Pettigrew realizes that Edythe is the same woman she saw the night before, carrying on with a man that was clearly not Joe. Joe and Miss Pettigrew also meet and talk, with Miss Pettigrew deveoping a slight crush on him. Then Miss Pettigrew is whisked away by the girls for a complete makeover.

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While shopping, Edythe recognizes Miss Pettigrew from the soup line and knows Miss Pettigrew saw her with another man. She blackmails Miss Pettigrew into helping her get Joe back or else she’ll tell Delysia the truth about her being a “social secretary”.

When the girls finish shopping, Miss Pettigrew and Delysia return to Delysia’s apartment. There they find a young man playing the piano. It turns out to be the same man recently released from prison that ran into Miss Pettigrew the day before. His name is Michael and he plays the piano in Nick’s club, accompanying Delysia, the singer. You see Michael is her third boyfriend. Unlike Nick who uses her for sex, and boy Phil who has never had the attentions of a woman before; Michael is in love with Delysia. He planned this big romantic scene on a boat in the river Thames, equipped with champagne and a ring to propose. Delysia never showed up, so Michael drank all the Champagne himself, got drunk, tried to steal the crown jewels; and was arrested and thrown in prison. Michael is planning on leaving for America and wants Delysia to marry him and come with. Delysia is unsure as she wants more than Michael can give her. Miss Pettigrew tells him that Delysia will have an answer by the end of the night.

That night holds a lot for them as Delysia has the announcement of the casting of the musical to worry over and how to handle young Phil. What to do about Nick as he is expecting payment for all the things he buys her. And whether or not to go off with Michael, the man who loves her but is poor. For Miss Pettigrew she has to help Delysia get the part in the musical, keep Nick at bay, encourage Delysia to make the right decision involving love, get Joe and Edythe back together, and figure out just what her role as social secretary really is.

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***Most Romantic Moment***

One of the most romantic moments for me comes near the end of the film. Delysia has just won the lead in the musical, but had to declare her undying love to Phil to guarantee it. Nick understands, but still expects to get his payment from her. Michael, after hearing Phil shout his and Delysia’s undying love, is leaving to America, never to see her again. Everything in Delysia’s life is going as planned but yet, completely wrong. Just then the city is warned to take cover from an air attack. As Delysia is hiding under the piano she and Miss Pettigrew discuss love, Miss Pettigrew telling her about the man she loved but lost in WWI. They had nothing really, but to Miss Pettigrew their love was more than enough to build a life on. This encourages Delysia, and as soon as it’s safe she rushes toward Michael to tell him how she feels.

As she is running after him, Nick stops her and tells her to sing. Michael comes to her rescue, but Nick is a better fighter and knocks him down.

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While Michael is recovering from that great hook, Delysia rushes over to him and proposes!

Delysia: Is the offer still open?

Nick: Get up!

[Michael stands and Nick knocks him back down with a punch to the nose]

Delysia: Well, is it a yes or is it a no?

Michael: What?

Delysia: Well will you doggone marry me or will you doggone not?

Michael: [he grins in delight, scrambles up, socks Nick square in the jaw, and pulls Delysia to her feet] Yes. God help me, yes! [they kiss fervently]

I love this scene because Delysia asking Michael to marry her showed him that she really, truly, completly loved him and wanted to be with him. Plus it gives him the strength to knock Nick out of the way.

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Yep it’s not the money that matters, but the man.

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To start Romance is in the Air: Part III from the beginning, go to I Can See Your Beauty: The Breakfast Club (1985)

For the previous post, go to I Don’t Want to Own You, I Just Want to Be With You: A Room With a View (1985)

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For more on Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, go to Part VIII: The Little Movie Line List

For more on Amy Adams, go to I Don’t Dance or Sing, Except When I’m With You: Enchanted (2007)

For more on Ciaran Hinds, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

For more films based on a book, go to What a Fanatic!

For more period piece films, go to Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Marry Me: Gigi (1958)

I Don’t Dance or Sing, Except When I’m With You: Enchanted (2007)

Romantic Moment #7

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Enchanted (2007)

Well this is the seventh post which means we are halfway done! Yay! This also means only seven days ’til Valentine’s Day, so if you haven’t picked anything up for your loved one, ya might want to start thinking ’bout it.

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Enchanted was such an awesome movie. All the characters are really great, the storyline is amazing, the songs are perfection, and all the disney references magical. I love this movie, and am proud to have it be the halfway mark.

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So Giselle (Amy Adams) is sent to the real world by the evil queen (Susan Sarandon), who doesn’t want her to marry her stepson, Prince Edward (James Marsden <3), and take her place.

I don't think so

She is found by Robert Phillips (Patrick Dempsey) and his daughter who take her in. Robert is a divorce lawyer, (and divorced himself), who doesn’t believe in true love, fairy tales, etc; pretty much anything romantic is nonsense. A super realist.

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Robert has been dating his girlfriend Nancy for like five years, and no hint of proposing and he’s never done anything romantic for her.

Robert is the girl in this scenario.

Robert is the girl in this scenario.

So Nancy misunderstands what is happening between Robert and Giselle; and Giselle tries to patch everything up. She finds out that they are having a King and Queens Ball that weekend, and thinks it will be the perfect present for Nancy. However Robert isn’t really into that.

Giselle: [singing] Well, does he take you out dancing just so he can hold you close? 
Robert: [speaking] I don’t dance! 
Giselle: Dedicate a song, with words meant just for you? Ooh ooh… 
Robert: [speaking] And I really don’t sing.

But Giselle sends the tickets off with lovebirds and flowers to Nancy so Robert and Nancy can fix everything and get back together. But things are changing between Giselle and Robert. Robert is starting to relax and realize that he doesn’t need to be serious and bitter all the time. Being with Giselle is changing him, he’s letting down all the walls he created to keep himself from being hurt again.

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Giselle is also growing; she is becoming more sure of herself, independent, etc. When Prince Edward finds her and is ready to take her back to Andalasia, she doesn’t quite want to go. She has started to like living in the “real world” rather than the “fairy tale”. She and Edward go on a date, and the last thing she wants to do before going back is the King and Queen’s ball.

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Now here is the romantic part. At the ball, they announce a dance that one must do with someone that is not their date. As Prince Edward doesn’t know anyone, he asks Nancy to dance, and then Robert asks Giselle.

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He’s dancing with her! He hates to dance, but when the two dance they just gaze at each other in complete adoration. And if that’s not romantic enough, he sings to her. SINGS!

So romantic

How romantic

You just see in that moment how much they love each other! 😀 You just see how the two being out the best in each other!

Aw!

Aw!

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The only thing I don’t like is Giselle’s dress. I know it is supposed to signify her compete transformation and acceptance of “our world”, but it is not a very good color on her and flattens her out. I love Robert’s outfit though.

They are supposed to be making an Enchanted 2, but it looks like it has been a while since they last updated their info. If interested here’s some info.

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To start Romance is in the Air from the beginning, go to Boom Box of Love: Say Anything (1989)

For the previous post, go to I Wouldn’t Change You, Darling: Shrek 2 (2004)

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For more on Enchanted, go to According to Disney

For more on Amy Adams, go to I Choose You: Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (2008)

For more on Patrick Dempsey, go to All I Know About Trilogies is That in the Third One, All Bets are Off: Scream 3 (2000)

For more Disney, go to On the 11th Day ‘Til Christmas: The Santa Clause (1994)

For more fairy tales, go to You Should Write A Book