One of this season’s most anticipated movies is Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals. Based on the novel Tony & Susan by Austin Wright, the film made its debut at the Venice Film Festival this week and has been receiving great reviews.
Having recently finished reading Tony & Susan, the headline for Stephen Galloway’s story about Ford —“Tom Ford’s Inner Life: A Director’s Turmoil, Depression Battles and Staggering Talent’’ in The Hollywood Reporter caught my eye.
Struck by how often depression seems to strike creative people and the rich and famous, those, looking only on the outside, that you would never ever expect of having inner struggles, I actually read the entire article at The Hollywood Reporter.
Fed up with the superficiality of the world he works in, Ford has used his own preoccupations in the film. According to THR, in Ford’s Tony and Susan “Amy Adams plays Susan, a successful art dealer struggling to find enduring values in an increasingly disposable world, who has a life-altering experience while reading a novel about a family man who gets brutally attacked while driving through rural Texas.’’
In the novel, Susan—older at 49 than Adams—teaches part time at the college, manages the house and the kids while her husband is having an affair. The book she reads is actually written by her ex-husband, the man she left her current husband for.
As in the book, the movie goes back and forth between both stories.
Galloway notes “just as A Single Man touched on themes close to Ford's heart, so does Nocturnal Animals, which explores the soul-sucking perils of materialism and consumerism (the very things that have made Ford — who sells a $19,400 Natalia alligator skin shoulder bag — a fortune).’’
“Susan is quite literally me. She’s someone who has material things but realizes — maybe this happened to me seven or eight years ago — those aren't the things that are important. She is struggling with the world that I live in: the world of absurd rich [people], the hollowness and emptiness I perceive in our culture.
[Life] can be an endless, unfulfilling quest for some sort of happiness that is elusive. Because the whole concept of happiness as peddled by our culture doesn’t exist. 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.’’Tom Ford sharing the secret of happiness? What do you think?