The West Texas landscape, all blasted ground and dry, brittle air, isn't where you'd expect to find fashion designer Tom Ford.
Ford, however, is also budding film director. (His 2009 film A Single Man is gorgeous and surprisingly heavy.) Ford's new film, Nocturnal Animals, bridges the worlds of Los Angeles and West Texas with an ambitious "story within a story" concept that weaves Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson into a tale of jealousy and violence.
Ford has said the film is about "the world of absurd rich [people], the hollowness and emptiness I perceive in our culture." A recent screening reaction from THR described the movie as "full of edge-of-your-seat tension and violence--a West Texas nightmare."
While we wait for the film's first trailer, here is a quartet of character posters showing off the film's lead characters. We'll give you as much info as we can (without spoilers) to prep you for the first trailer, which should be just days away.
Adams plays Susan, the film's lead, and a character Ford has described as an analogue for himself. "She's someone who has material things," he told THR, "but realizes — maybe this happened to me seven or eight years ago — those aren't the things that are important."
Susan is a modern artist married to a guy played by Armie Hammer. (Sorry Armie, no poster for you, yet.) Things get complicated when Susan receives a package sent from her ex-husband.
Gyllenhaal plays Edward, Susan's ex, and the package he sends contains his debut novel, not coincidentally called 'Nocturnal Animals.' The book is, according to The Wrap, "a harrowing story of a husband and father named Tony whose wife and daughter are abducted by a group of West Texas thugs." The film evidently really gets going as Susan reads the book, imagining Edward in the novel's lead role. So the film is partially set in Susan's real-time life in LA, and partially in her imaged vision of the novel's story.
The hat should give you a clue that Shannon plays a character in the story-within-a-story. (He's also in that still image from the film, above.) He's a police detective working with Tony, the lead character in the novel.
And this image should let you know that Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays a guy who factors heavily into the West Texas part of the story. We can't give away any more for now, but expect the trailer to show you his character in more tantalizing detail.
In addition to that cast, Nocturnal Animals also features appearances from Isla Fisher, Karl Glusman, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, and Michael Sheen. We'll likely see glimpses of them when the trailer arrives, too.
Nocturnal Animals opens in select US cities on November 18, then rolls out to additional cities on November 23 before going wide on December 9.
From writer/director Tom Ford comes a haunting romantic thriller of shocking intimacy and gripping tension that explores the thin lines between love and cruelty, and revenge and redemption. Academy Award nominees Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star as a divorced couple discovering dark truths about each other and themselves in NOCTURNAL ANIMALS.
- Cast: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Karl Glusman, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Sheen
- Directed By: Tom Ford
- Written By: Tom Ford, based on the novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright
- Distributor: Focus Features
- MPAA Rating: R
[Source: THR; All images: Focus Features]