Abel Korzeniowski is probably one of the most underrated composers working today, his music is simply arresting no matter what the project such as his work on W./E. and Penny Dreadful. Nocturnal Animals is no exception as he reunites with director Tom Ford after their successful collaboration on A Single Man. Nocturnal Animals is a seductive and haunting musical exploration that has plenty of depth thanks to Abel’s talents as a storyteller.
While Nocturnal Animals may push a heavy sense of style both from Tom Ford’s stylish directing and Abel Korzeniowski’s lush signature sound, the film manages to find its own pulse without feeling like it’s self-indulging. The score works on two levels; the top level is highly thematic and engaging to hook the audience and the bottom level is more complex and character-driven. Narratively we sort of explode out the gate, very similarly to how Abel structured his W./E. score. Then the score sort of settles and finds a natural pacing that keeps us intrigued yet emotionally invested. There’s a swirling haunting romance shimmering throughout the entire journey. The musical structure is borderline film noir in a sense and has this classic and timeless feel about it.
In the end, Nocturnal Animals’ score becomes this supremely thrilling drama that is infused with stylish sexuality and engaging character exploration. Abel Korzeniowski continues to show us his auteur sensibilities by allowing his voice as a composer to soar. Even though director Tom Ford comes from the fashion world and this is only his second feature, he feels like a seasoned filmmaker. The way Abel’s score syncs with the film’s visuals is a prime example of how to make a stylish seductive thriller in a unique voice versus something tired and of the genre.
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