The red carpet was black.
The black wall along the carpet was barren, featuring only the ominous title of Friday night’s premiere: Nocturnal Animals.
“That’s kind of my thing,” said the film’s director, Tom Ford, wearing a black suit and black framed glasses. “I kind of do black everywhere.”
Held at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Nocturnal Animals comes as the second film directed by fashion designer/director Tom Ford. The film follows the story of an art gallery owner whose seemingly perfect high-class life is fractured when she begins reading a manuscript for her ex-husband’s new novel. The book tells a violent, vengeful story that she interprets as a symbolic threat. Many of the film’s stars, including Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon and Isla Fisher, joined fellow castmembers and celebrities on the black carpet Friday night.
Before entering the theater, Amy Adams stopped to talk with The Hollywood Reporter. “I knew about him [Ford] as a fashion designer because I value his aesthetic,” said Adams, “but I didn’t know a lot about him as a person.” Additionally starring in the alien sci-fi film Arrival, Adams plays Susan Morrow, the art gallery owner. “The characters are so different. I had to step into two very different worlds.”
Based on the novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright, Nocturnal Animals is split between two narratives. One, the imagination of the book’s contents by Susan Morrow (Adams), vividly written by her ex-husband, Edward Sheffield (Gyllenhaal), who places himself as the main character of the brutal story. The other, Morrow’s real life with her husband, Hutton (Hammer), and her brief interactions with Sheffield.
“This character is extraordinarily sensitive and lost a bit in the world because of that sensitivity,” Gyllenhaal told The Hollywood Reporter. “He never really gets to fight back throughout most of the movie.”
As professor and writer Edward Sheffield, Gyllenhaal’s character endures a violent struggle that is depicted by Morrow’s imagination throughout the film.
Director Tom Ford spoke with The Hollywood Reporter on the black carpet about what this film means to him. “I changed it quite a lot, so the film is different from the book,” Ford said. “However the central theme is about finding people in your life who you love, who love you, who believe in you and then hanging on to them. This is a cautionary tale about what can happen if you let those people go.”
Nocturnal Animals is set for a limited release Nov. 18, a wider release Nov. 23 and a nationwide release Dec. 9. The film was produced by Fade to Black Productions, Focus Features and Universal Pictures. It is rated R.
Just before the screening, Gyllenhaal joked with reporters about his fashion style and the election results.
“I’m not the kind of person that really cares about how I look. As I stand here in Tom Ford suit,” laughed Gyllenhaal. “But I guess now is the time for contradictions and hypocrisy.”