Review: Susan, a wealthy art gallery owner completely out of the blue receives a novel from her ex-husband. They start discovering dark truths about each other and themselves.
Director: Tom Ford
Actors: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough and Michael Sheen
Genre: Crime, Drama and Thriller
Based on a book titled “Tony and Susan”. This is the second directorial film for Tom Ford (other being A Single Man, 2009). He is really known as a fashion designer and he specifically chose not to have any of his products appear in the film as he “didn’t want a commercial”. Brilliant cinematography by Seamus McGarvey who also worked on Anna Karenina, 2012. I enjoyed the musical score and it reminded me of the sort of music that Hitchcock would use. Great ensemble cast, but I do think that Amy Adams should have at least got an Academy Award Nomination for her performance. Even though Laura Linney wasn’t in it that much I do think she played an important part in the film. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon were both perfect for their roles. It was a shame again that Michael Shannon was up against a high group of contenders for this year’s Academy Awards as he was nominated. At the end this film does leave a lot of questions unanswered but then I suppose we can have our own opinions to fill these missing gaps. It leaves you to make your own mind up especially the final scene. One interesting point is that we see everything from Susan’s point of view in the film. It is all about her. Just a few questions to get you thinking: would Edward (her ex) have ever written the novel if the incident had never happened and also why did he write the novel in the first place and dedicate it to Susan? Joaquin Phoenix was considered for a role, but eventually dropped out. Also George Clooney originally signed on as a producer, but ultimately backed out. The themes that are very much in evidence is the thin line between love and cruelty, revenge and redemption. It is also about guilt and the feeling of being loyal. All these emotions feed into each other. It is a mixture of them all. There are scenes of violence, threat, nudity and uses of strong language. It is not an enjoyable film but one that is worth watching for what it is. What I am trying to say is that it is a very well made film. Do not be put off by the first 5-10 minutes of the film and persevere with it. Even though I didn’t enjoy it like I thought I would it is a film I have thought a lot about since. It doesn’t even allow you to breath it is so tense. At the Golden Globe Awards in 2017 Aaron Taylor-Johnson got an award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.