The leap for every filmmaker is translating their creative eye to the cinematic medium. Hitchcock’s feverish writing fed his mise-en-scene and attention to detail. Spielberg grew his outdoor sense of adventure to the highest possibilities and beyond. With an eye for the cultured human form and colorful finery, Tom Ford saturates every edge of his films with ornate style. The man is never boring and neither is one iota of “Nocturnal Animals,” Ford’s second feature film and a cage-rattling psychological thriller.
There are commendable allegories bottled somewhere inside both Ben Fountain’s 2012 award-winning novel and Ang Lee’s adaptation of “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.” However, knowing what we know now about “paid patriotism” since 2015, those morals, and any patriotic pride the fictional story’s grand setting can muster, have lost too much of their high ground to inspire. It is difficult to invest in a reflective film wrestling with disillusionment when too many current audiences already enter with the same feelings about the War on Terror. Disillusionment of disillusionment is a tough sell if the goal is the change minds.