Tom Ford is back in the director’s chair –reprising his role as costume designer, producer, writer and, visionary, in other words as unseen protagonist of his second film. Nocturnal Animals is a feature film we know beforehand that will have a spellbinding atmosphere and set, an amazing score, beautiful people, and chic wardrobe and accessories; But what about the script?
When you are Tom Ford, the screenplay is very specific. After his Oscar nominated 2009 debut ‘A Single Man’, his latest film ‘Nocturnal Animals’ is a dark thriller, a film noir, full of aesthetic fixations.
His directorial debut was a critical and commercial success. The movie ‘A Single Man’ took him to the Baftas, the Golden Globes, and the Oscars; And everyone expecting to find form over substance, was surprised.
Almost ten years later, in 2006, he started trading under his own name and there are now 122 Tom Ford stores worldwide, he designs clothes for women (Michelle Obama chose one of his gowns when she met the Queen), has been legally married to his longtime partner, and is the proud father of a four year old.
Ford’s latest movie, which Focus Features picked up for $20 million at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015, has a somewhat more complex narrative.
Nocturnal Animals turns the idea of a love story completely on its head in the most unexpected and brutal way. No wonder it won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Venice International Film Festival.
Susan (Amy Adams) is the successful owner of an art gallery. She is dressed in all black and high heels, she is seated in all-white sofas, and she used to be married to Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal). You can tell that Ford takes the film business seriously: in ‘Nocturnal Animals’ the protagonists don’t wear his designs. Instead, they sport clothing from the likes of Marc Jacobs and Alessandro Michele.
Credit: Merrick Morton/Focus Features
‘It’s a film about loyalty and true love’, acknowledges Tom Ford. The film is almost autobiographical. Perfectionist, romantic, old fashioned. Ford, having struggled with alcoholism and depression himself, does not necessarily believe in happy endings. ’I’ve realised that material things aren’t the things that are important… Nobody lives happily ever after. If you buy this and do that and build this house, you’re not going to be happy. Life is happy, sad, tragic, joyful. But that’s not what we’re taught, that’s not what our culture pounds into our heads.’
theCODE Magazine (Archive) | Issue 08 – December 2016