Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Edward, the ex of Susan (Amy Adams), and he stars as Tony, the lead character in the novel she is reading. As Susan reads the sad story of how Tony lost his family, she remembers how she fell in love and eventually destroyed her life with Edward.
The two lives are different, but it is the similarities that leaves Susan with chills and nightmare-like visions of a violent end she can feel just by the powerful writing of Edward. Susan’s guilt allows her to realize her current husband, Hutton (Armie Hammer) is cheating on her, and her mom (Laura Linney) planted the belief that her marriage to Edward will fail because he is a weak person.
This is a dark trip into the horrible acts of man. The destruction of Tony’s family is difficult to watch, showing you how incredible the acting of Gyllenhaal as you can feel his pain. Michael Shannon as officer Bobby Andes added a direct stern approach to the tragic situation that was depressing, serious and funny at times. He helped guide Tony on his quest for revenge, while Susan only has her hollow art to lead her.
The end can be a bit confusing as you will wonder what was real and what was fiction? You will have to figure that out for yourself. Regardless, this movie was a fantastic experience because of that. Acting was top notch and well casted. Music perfectly set the tone. If there is one film to watch this year it’s this one. A masterpiece from start to finish.