Rape as Plot Device
…I’m left with the feeling that Tom Ford’s second feature film is a love letter to sexist movies instead. … Like a lot of sexist stories, ‘Nocturnal Animals’ is vague about its attitude toward women, because it doesn’t truly regard women as anything but objects – things that derive meaning only through their relationship to the real subjects, men.
Trigger warning: rape and sexual assault | Watching a young adult have to navigate the social stigmas of rape and sexual assault in a small high school community is what pushes this film past the danger of falling into a trope that some filmmakers use as an easy way to tell women’s stories.
The show expertly demonstrates how the show’s female characters find ways to move through a world that refuses them power or autonomy. Because of this, I’m very surprised and disappointed that the show chose to have its title character violently raped as a way to advance the plot.