Let’s Talk About the Ending of ‘Nocturnal Animals’

Amy Adams in Nocturnal Animals

Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals hit theaters this past weekend and while /Film’s Angie Han found it “pretty but hollow,” the film continued to haunt me long after I left the theater.

Specifically, I found the film’s ending to be enigmatic, and worthy of further conversation. After the jump, you’ll find some of my thoughts on it. You should assume that there are massive SPOILERS for the film in this article and in the comments.
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The Birth of a Nation

Nate Parker’s Birth of a Nation was one of my most anticipated films this year, due to the rapturous response people had to it at Sundance. Just from reading the plot summary and seeing the trailer, the film’s plot seemed to speak to many aspects of race and racial violence that we desperately need to have in our national conversation today.

Unfortunately, since Sundance, the film has been embroiled in controversy around its director and star. Moreover, the way the film depicts women, whose sexual violation is used as a way to motivate its men to take action, is deeply problematic at best.

I’m trying something a little different this week. Rather than a quick 3-4 minute video review, I filmed my friend Wendi and me having a lengthy, 30-minute conversation about the film, its depiction of women, and the real-life controversy surrounding it. I hope you find it interesting.

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sully

Clint Eastwood’s Sully has one of the most tense, nail-biting plane-landing sequences ever put to film. Based on the real-life story of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s “Miracle on the Hudson,” Sully features Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckart as pilots flying US Airways Flight 1549 on the morning both of its engines failed shortly after takeoff. As the plane begins its descent into the Hudson River, we see diverse groups of New York civil servants galvanized into action, all of them attempting to save innocent passengers’ lives. It’s riveting and inspiring, even as we already know how this particular story will end.

Unfortunately, the rest of the film is not as compelling, featuring a few interesting ideas about the events of that day that are never fully explored. See my full video review of Sully below.
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The Light Between Oceans Video Review

Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine blew me away when it debuted at Sundance in 2011, with its evocative style and its powerful performances. Thus, I was excited to learn Cianfrance would be applying his skills to a period drama starring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander in The Light Between Oceans

Oceans is grander on every level — in its setting, its scope, its ambition, and the emotional heights of its performances. And while its latter half does give way to some overwrought moments and dialogue, I never lost sight of the central, compelling connection that the two protagonists had with each other. Hit the jump to see my full video review of the film.

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Don't Breathe

I can’t remember the last time I watched a movie like Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe.

Don’t Breathe is a film in which I was so tense, I felt sore afterwards from how on edge I was. Don’t Breathe is a movie where the audience was so engrossed for the duration that I barely heard them make a peep or shift in their seats. Don’t Breathe is one of those movies whose jump scares actually make you physically jump and make embarrassing exclamations out loud in a theater full of strangers (the only other movie experience that even comes close this year is Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room).

Check out my video review of Don’t Breathe below and feel free to share your thoughts on the film below.
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Jason Bourne

I’m a die-hard Bourne film fan. I’ve watched Matt Damon’s Bourne films more than 15 times collectively. I’ve listened to John Powell‘s scores for each more than 100 times. I was disappointed when the Damon / Paul Greengrass combo didn’t return for Legacy, but I always held out hope that if they did ever come back, it would be because they had a compelling adventure in store for us.

This weekend, nine years after the release of The Bourne Ultimatum, Jason Bourne hits theaters and it is, by far, the weakest of Damon’s Bourne films. Not only does it bring nothing new to the table for the franchise, but the film just feels like a shambling corpse of its former self. Continue after the jump to read my Jason Bourne review.
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gameofthrones

In this episode of “A Cast of Kings,” Joanna and David discuss the sixth season of Game of Thrones. Special guest Will Wallace joins us from Teen Wolf. Be sure to follow Will on Twitter.

If you like the show, feel free to leave us a review on iTunes and be sure to follow us on Facebook for updates on the show.
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A Cast of Kings S6E10 – The Winds of Winter

gameofthroneswindsofwinter

In this episode of “A Cast of Kings,” Joanna and David discuss the tenth episode of the sixth season of Game of Thrones,  “The Winds of Winter.”

Thanks to Adam Wells from the Beyond The Shield podcast for his help in putting this ep together.

If you like the show, feel free to leave us a review on iTunes and be sure to follow us on Facebook for updates on the show.
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A Cast of Kings S6E09 – Battle of the Bastards

battleofbastards

In this episode of “A Cast of Kings,” Joanna and David discuss the ninth episode of the sixth season of Game of Thrones,  “Battle of the Bastards.”

Thanks to Adam Wells from the Beyond The Shield podcast for his help in putting this ep together.

If you like the show, feel free to leave us a review on iTunes and be sure to follow us on Facebook for updates on the show.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

tickledmovie

Tickled is one of the most bizarre and riveting documentaries of the year, but the real-life story unfolding around the film is also getting stranger by the day.

Last night at a Tickled Q&A in Los Angeles, the film’s co-director Dylan Reeve encountered a surprise: several people featured in the documentary showed up for the screening. Hit the jump for the cringe-worthy video that resulted, and some thoughts from co-director David Farrier on how he feels about proceeding with the film’s release. Massive SPOILERS for the Tickled documentary follow (If it’s playing in a theater near you, you should see it. It’s great).
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