For November, there are four films in the fight…
First up, Nocturnal Animals sees Tom Ford follow up his 2009 debut, A Single Man, with something more stylish and moody. A story within a story, the film is sometimes beautiful and sometimes sickeningly ugly, terrifyingly gripping and rigidly dull. The performances are world class, with Jake Gyllenhall standing out in his dual role. Very worth seeing. (See my Nocturnal Animals Twitter review)
Environmental documentaries have a tendency to be po-faced, but Before The Flood manages to bring both insight and charm to such an important subject. Leonardo DiCaprio leads us around the world, showing how current global systems are destroying key environmental elements that will inevitably lead to a collapse. Stark, clear, and succinct, this film delivers its message well. Watch. (See my Before The Flood Twitter review)
The second Amy Adams performance of the month, Arrival, sees her as a linguist asked to decipher an alien language following a group of ships arriving on Earth. Beautifully shot and structured, as the layers of story peel back we realise more about what we’ve already seen than what is to come. There are some tricks here, for sure, but it’s so magnificently managed that we buy into the unfolding bittersweet heartache. From the acting right down to the sound design, this is one of the best films of the year. (See my Arrival Twitter review)
Finally, The Accountant sees an exceptional cast play out a fairly dumb premise. Ben Affleck plays an Accountant by day and assassin by night, none of which quite makes sense. It’s predictable, and silly, with some decent action. JK Simmons, Jon Bernthal and Anna Kendrick make things work better than they might have, but you’re going to have to suspend disbelief for a sizeable period of the run time. Fine. (See my The Accountant Twitter review)
The winner is Arrival for it’s gripping beauty, and unravelling narrative.