Susan an Art Gallery owner must deal with her past when she receives a manuscript of a novel written by her first husband, who she has not seen for almost 20 years.
That is certainly the first word that comes to my mind when starting the review about this film. I mean I probably should have found out more about it before heading the to the cinema to see it last night. I mean if I had seen any of the comments comparing it to The Neon Demon I would have stayed well away from it! Although I will admit that I didn’t hate this one anywhere near as much as I hated Neon Demon.
It’s one of those films that everyone seems to have loved and fallen for that I just don’t really get or understand why. I mean I like a pretty elaborate plot which makes you think and twists and turns. I also don’t mind having unanswered questions at the end of a film, letting the viewer make their own mind up. But to have so many things unanswered and unsolved I did have a problem with when it came to this film.
Susan is a rather complex character and in all honesty we don’t really get to know her completely throughout the story or should that be stories. The main thing to know about her is that she does not really sleep very much, therefore her reality is rather hazy which I guess works well with the film. Everything gets worse for her after her current husband heads off on another “Business Trip” and she is left with this book from Edward to read. On opening the first page it is dedicated to her.
From that moment forward the film is split between the book unfolding before our eyes with Jake Gyllenhaal taking on the part of Edward and Tony. It is mentioned that she left him in the worst way possible, but even that is extreme when we eventually find out at the end. Which does link the story that has been written to help Edward explain and deal with his grief in a very different way.
I think because of the awful scenes that were supposed to be the book is the reason I did not warm to this film, it was well very disturbing. Aaron Taylor-Johnson pulling out a different type of performance which was very haunting and extremely creepy! I must also take the time to mention how good Michael Shannon was, I mean when is he not? It was probably the first time I have actually been impressed with Amy Adams as well, I have never really understood the hype around her over the years.
So I won’t really be recommending this one, I have read quite a few extremely positive reviews since watching the film. But I am certainly going against the grain in being honest and saying I just did not like it, or really get it. I mean Tom Ford seemed to want to shock with certain scenes, I mean the opening was probably the worst part. Why, just why was my reaction very uncomfortable cinema viewing! I think it will be a love or hate with passion either way and no in between for this one!