A Comment on Visionary Tom Ford’s Newest Movie “Nocturnal Animals” by Gary Smolker


I constantly come in contact with young and old men and women (married and unmarried) who are lonely.

That is why I am writing this blog post on the issues raised in Nocturnal Animals.

My Soul

Tom Ford’s newest movie Nocturnal Animals touched my soul the first time I saw it (which was at its North American Premier in Toronto at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival 0n 12, September, 2016).

I haven’t been able to get Nocturnal Animals out of my mind.

“Nocturnal Animals” Is An Interesting Conversation Piece

Nocturnal Animals was the topic of conversation I had with two hip people at a high hip quotient networking brunch I attended in Brentwood, California on Saturday October 22, 2016.

Neither of the two hip people I spoke to at that brunch (which was a hip people only affair) had seen Nocturnal Animals yet, but both told me they plan to see Nocturnal Animals soon.

One of those two people (a writer) asked me: “Why do half the people who see ‘Nocturnal Animals’ hate it and the other half love it?”

The other person (a music composer) told me: “I can’t wait to see ‘Nocturnal Animals.’  It won at the Venice Film Festival.”

The Cause of Heart Break and How To Get Over A Broken Heart

Nocturnal Animals is about two painful real-life topics:

  • the cause of heart break and
  • how to get over a broken heart.

That is why half the people who see it hate it and the other half love it.

Today, the pain arising out of “heart-break”, out of having a “broken-heart”, and being suffered by the large number of heart-broken people in America while they are trying to get over a broken heart is in everyone in America’s face all the time.

Saturday  NIGHT (October 22, 2016): I Was Presented with One Side of the Pain of Heartbreak – The Woman’s Side

Saturday night, I had a quiet dinner with a gorgeous sophisticated spiritual world-wise delightful woman (GORGEOUS AND DELIGHTFUL) who can’t accept the fact that many American men are marriage phobic.  She discussed with me how frustrated she is by

  • the marriage phobic state of mind of dashing physically and mentally attractive men she dates;
  • their deep seated widespread fear of marriage has emotionally and romantically paralyzed these men;
  •  these men want to see her only once or at most twice a week and to be free the rest of the time; and
  • she feels all women her age have been trapped by
  • the social hierarchical reality that men are supposed to be dominant which currently exists in America;
  • this leads to men being overly competitive,
  • MALE OVER COMPETITIVENESS has created a society in which men are commitment phobic,
  • men are more committed to making money and to their money than to having a committed relationship;
  • this limits women’s options,
  • their (a woman’s) limited other options “force” women in America to be manipulative,
  • because they are manipulative in their relationships with men, they can not get close to men and men cannot get close to them.

Many men pour their money into a nonreciprocal (sexually oriented) relationship with all the women in their lives.

DELIGHTFUL GORGEOUS acknowledges she is a “fool” to still “want” to be with the emotionally paralyzed commitment phobic unromantic men who “stole/steal her heart.”

Painfully, DELIGHTFUL GORGEOUS can’t get over them even though she realizes because of the high value she places on ROMANCE (romantic involvement) she has to move on until she finds a romantic partner.

Sunday NIGHT (October 23, 2016): I Was Presented with The Man’s Side of Heartbreak

  • Sunday night (October 23, 2016)  I went to an “Emancipation Party” thrown by a man who just paid his wife a “pretty sum” to get her out of his life.
  • He was miserable for many years of the past years he was married to her.
  • To his relief she moved out of his house about two days ago.
  • At his party, he reported to me: “The morning after she moved out was the first morning he woke up with a smile.”
  • Male dissatisfaction with marriage is a widely and strongly held sentiment among the many wealthy men I am in contact with.  For example: The other day, another very wealthy friend of mine asked me: “Do you know why divorce is so expensive?  I replied, “Why?” He answered: “Because it is worth it.”

These unhappy men, feel that their wives are using them.

I tell my male friends and my female friends:

  • In order for marital and other personal relationships and business relationships to work all parties have to pull their own weight.
  • Each partner has to be genuine, sincere, honest and authentic or their relationship is going to fall apart, it isn’t going to work.


TOM FORD, the Director writer of the screen play and one of the producers of Nocturnal Animals lives in London.

TOM FORD was previously the design director for Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, and YSL Beaute before launching his own fashion brand, the Tom Ford brand. in 2005.

TOM FORD never puts a foot wrong.

TOM FORD has a never ending power of invention, an infallible sense of provocation, that distinguishes modern fashion and modern movie making at its best.

In fact I will go as far as to say, with Nocturnal Nights TOM FORD has launched a new type of genre of film: THE HIP FILM.

TOM FORD’S great passion for detail and clear vision of his aesthetic goals are on display in Nocturnal Animals.

 TOM FORD orchestrates the characters’ in Nocturnal Animals experience of their worlds in such a way that every scene in Nocturnal Animals comes down to one single thing: a wonderful, sensual sensory experience.

Every moment one spends watching Nocturnal Nights is charged with erotic frisson.  Every person in the audience is perpetually on the edge of their seat wanting to know and never knowing what is going to happen next.

In short: TOM FORD is the Flaubert of movie making just as he was a visionary in the world of fashion, the Flaubert of fashion.


I admire TOM FORD’S persistence and exactitude.

TOM FORD made sure that everything in every scene in Nocturnal Animals is “just so.”

The perfectionism shown in the final product – which is the experience of watching Nocturnal Animals – resonated with my own very personal demand for perfectionism in all elements of my existence.

I admire and love creativity.

I am attracted to people who are sui generus/generis.

TOM FORD, like myself, is a creature of his own invention.

I am all and am totally in favor of glamour and perfection.


  • TOM FORD has a nimble mind.
  • TOM FORD takes his work seriously.
  • TOM FORD obviously sips from life’s full cup.

Without a doubt TOM FORD would be great company.

That is one of the many reasons I enjoyed Nocturnal Animals so much.

Nocturnal Animals Is A Refreshing Antidote to Tackiness

Like TOM FORD himself, and the clothes TOM FORD has designed, there is nothing tacky about Nocturnal Animals.

Brash Vision

Looking good requires work.

Nocturnal Animals is the latest manifestation of TOM FORD’S brash vision, seer’s confidence, attention to detail, and hard work.

Nocturnal Nights Is The Latest Well Conceived Successful Product of A Provocateur Visionary

As one perfectionist workaholic provocateur visionary to another, I salute you TOM FORD for a job well done.

Flashy Brassy Attitude

I share TOM FORD’S flashy brassy attitude.

Check out the flashy brassy attitude exhibited in my latest creative business venture Dude’s Guide to Women’s Shoes at http://www.dudesguidetowomensshoes.com.


Dude’s Guide to Women’s Shoes is a high hip quotient flamboyant hippie fest which appeals to style-aware goddesses.


I have put myself under the pressure of a self-imposed deadline to finish writing this movie review in my living room before I go to my office this morning.


Many people are victims of their own insecurities.

That is why many people love and many other people hate Nocturnal Animals.

  • Nocturnal Animals does not have a plot.
  • Furthermore, Nocturnal Animals does not have a beginning, or a middle, or an end.
  • More importantly, Nocturnal Animals is an impeccably well constructed out of order sequence of a series of scenes in the life of a woman who was her own worse enemy – a woman who became the victim of her own insecurities.


The ideal audience for Nocturnal Animals are people whose hearts have been broken by their spouse and/or by their lover(s).

People who have not had their heart broken may or may not be able to [fully] appreciate Nocturnal Animals.

  • Mature men who have had their heart broken, men who couldn’t get over their broken heart for a long time or for ever, and men who understand this movie, will love it.
  • Mature women who have had their heart broken, who couldn’t get over their broken heart, and women who understand this movie, will also love it.


Nocturnal Animals screams out the following rules to live by and teaches the following lessons:

  1. Don’t pair up with someone who is extremely insecure.  Such a relationship will never work.
  2. People become happy when they let go of the perception of what they are supposed to be.  Be who you want to be.
  3. You can’t make a better past.  Abandon all hope of bettering your past.
  4. When you enjoy the absurdity in the world it is less painful.  People act absurdly.
  5. Your soul must be the center of your universe.  If everybody in a family is not pulling their own weight the family unit is going to fail.
  6. You can’t cheat reality.  You are responsible for your own life.  Fake is fake.
  7. You can’t walk away all the time.  When you love somebody and they love you, work out your problems, don’t throw away your love for each other.


The fatal flame-out causing flaw of the main character (Susan played by Amy Adams) in Nocturnal Animals is that she (Susan) did not believe in her first husband.

Her first husband had the strength to see in himself and the strength to believe in himself.

But, she (the main character Susan played by Amy Adams) did not have the strength to believe in her first husband or to ability to see the strength of her first husband.

Her first husband was passionately and romantically totally committed to her.

Her first husband wanted to share her life with her and for her to share his life with him.

Her first husband loved her totally.

Susan was not the right person for her first husband to marry because Susan was so shallow she was incapable of having an enduring relationship with him, good man though he is.

  • Susan had no empathy.
  • Susan had no emotional connection to her first husband.
  • Susan was incapable – way to shallow to be able to share intimacy.
  • When push came to shove she was not romantically involved with him enough to wait for his career to blossom.
  • Susan did not love her husband enough to go through the ups and downs of life with him.
  • Susan discovered she wanted a different life style that her struggling your writer husband could provide or that she could provide for herself as an artist.
  • When the hormonal rush of good sex was over, Susan thought she saw that he was not right for her.
  • Of course she was wrong.  She was not trustworthy, she was not reliable, she valued having money and “luxury creature comforts” over having a committed relationship.

Her beauty, her love of beauty and her love of financial success was a trap.


SUMMARY: Nocturnal Animals consists of a sequence of scenes in the life of an extremely unhappy woman (Susan) who didn’t believe in a man who was her true and first love.

She became the victim of her own insecurities; her wrongheadedness and emotional weakness made her panic – made her runaway with a dashing successful handsome doctor who turned out to be a philanderer, who frequently went on business trips during which he had sex with “glamorous”  women.

In the end, Susan was very much alone and miserable.

The Beginning

Susan and her first husband knew each other and unbeknownst to each other had crushes on each other when they were in high school.

They met up again when they were graduate students.

  • He wanted to be a writer.
  • She wanted to be an artist.

After they reconnected in graduate school they discovered they were “in love” with each other and got “married” over the protest and against the advice of her mother.

Her mother told her, “He is poor.  You are rich.  You will never have the things or the life style you are accustomed to if you marry him.”


Nocturnal Animals shows how a child is going to turn out will depend in great part in what their parents instill in them as a child.

Nocturnal Animals teaches the lesson that parents do a great disservice to their children if and when they tell their children, “It is an easy to fall in love with someone who is rich as it is to fall in love with someone who is poor.”

Mature sophisticated worldly people know is not easy to “fall in love” with anyone.

Parents should tell their children,

  • “It is completely unsatisfying to be in love with a person who you can’t get close to, to be married to a person who you can’t connect with, and it is pure hell to live with a person who doesn’t care enough about you.
  • People in the United States live in a highly manipulative society.
  • “That is one of the reasons there are so many unhappy marriages.
  • “When you find someone in your life that you connect to don’t let them get away.
  • “Be real about yourself, about who you are and what you have to offer.
  • “Marry someone who is genuine, authentic, sincere, honest and values a relationship that is committed to enduring and getting better.”


Nocturnal Animals consists of a series of scenes in the life of the very distraught Susan (perfectly played by Amy Adams) and has a wonderful ending.

Go see Nocturnal Animals.


Visually Nocturnal Nights starts with a presentation of totally nude very over-weight women dancing.

The women are completely nude.

We (the audience) see their entire nude bodies as they dance, pubic hair and everything else.

Next the audience sees the main character, (Susan) a beautiful successful art-gallery owner married to her second husband, a dashing handsome young doctor (perfectly played by Armie Hammer), in her Beverly Hills art-gallery.

Our eyes (the audience’s eyes) are directed to a giant sculpture of a overweight nude woman on the floor in Susan’s are-gallery.

The movie begins with a picture of obese women dancing without any clothes on.

Q: Why is that?

A: The opening scene is a hip metaphor graphically delivering TOM FORD’S message, “The rest of the world is laughing at overweight, unhealthy Americans.”

Gary S. Smolker, publisher, movie reviewer, social commentator
Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange Blog

Gary Smolker, fashion blogger
Dude's Guide to Women's Shoes



Above is a photograph of Gary S. Smolker taken on October 19, 2016 in his office in Encino, California, USA.

COPYRIGHT © 2016 by Gary S. Smolker, All Rights Reserved


About Gary S. Smolker

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: No enterprise can exist for itself alone. Every successful enterprise ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others. Otherwise, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist. Imagination, open mindedness and flexibility are the most important factors in unlocking potential. Those who embrace innovation, improvisation, continuous learning, time management, are action oriented, high energy, passionate, creative, purposeful and intense individuals are best equipped to succeed. We all have ideas and the ability to make progress by sharing information and our ideas and also by changing our ideas when appropriate. We should always be on the lookout for teaching and mentoring moments. We hold time like water in our hands; however tightly we clench our fingers, it drips away. But, if it falls on a seed, a seed may grow to become something that will have a positive social impact. PERSONAL INTERESTS: I have a passion to learn, to innovate, to lead, to mentor and to teach. I seek to write things worth reading and want to do things worth writing about. I enjoy (a) driving a fast car, (b) having intense conversations (c) teaching/mentoring, (d) reading and (e) being involved in productive activity. PERSONAL: I believe in cultivating and backing passionate people, innovation, and old fashioned good ideas. I love making human connections and spreading good ideas. I am strongly motivated to achieve in situations in which independence of thought and action are called for. PERSONAL GOALS: I want to live life vibrantly, to be as sharp as a tack until my last breath and to change the world by being me. My personal goal is to be fully engaged in life, to lead by example, to set high standards and to continue to amass firsthand experience and knowledge in all that interests me. PERSONALITY: I love fun and mischief. I relish absurdity. I have an irreverent, facetious and satiric disposition. I dread boredom. I have spent a lifetime reading. I have no bias against people who have lived successful and/or complicated lives. I write to release tension, to get things off my chest. SOCIAL MEDIA: I post articles on the "Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange" blog at www.garysmolker.wordpress.com, and "Dude's Guide to Women's Shoes" at www.dudesguidetowomensshoes.com. I also post images and comments on Instagram @garyspassion. CONTACT INFORMATION: Gary Smolker, Smolker Law Firm, 16055 Ventura Blvd., Ste 525, Encino, California, 91436-2609, USA. Phone 1-818-788-7290, e-mail GSmolker@aol.com.

Posted on October 24, 2016, in commitments, films, intrinsic sense of fairness, Karma, know how to enjoy life, Life Goes On, lifestyle choices, marriage, positive energy, preprogrammed responses, Responsibility, Romance, self-awareness, self-confidence, self-control, social order, soul, the power of self-confidence, the trials of marriage, why monogomy doesn't work, Your Soul Is The Center of Your World and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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