When you hear that Tom Ford is directing a movie, you know for sure that it’s going to be stylish. Nocturnal Animals is his first feature since 2009’s A Single Man, and, for one, thing it’s actually gorgeous to look at. But what lies beneath the surface is a sexy, nasty tale of two former lovers in a battle for supremacy and revenge. While Nocturnal Animals has the elements of a thriller a la Gone Girl, like classic noirs that came before it, it’s much more a love story with thrilling aspects.

In a new featurette, the cast and director talk about the love story that provides the backbone to the film. Amy Adams, who plays Susan, apparently left her ex-husband Tony (Jake Gyllenhaal) in “a brutal way.” She still has affection for him, but that affection is soon marred by suspicion as a violent manuscript Tony wrote shows up at her door, dedicated to her. Things, as they are wont to do, escalate quickly. In the featurette, Adams summarizes the theme of the film: “It’s about what we sacrifice when you don’t follow your heart.”

Tom Ford wants his film to make us think about our choices, and really consider what we are capable of doing to the people who mean the most to us.

I would like audiences to leave this film thinking about the choices they’ve made in their life with regards to people, thinking about the importance of the people in their lives, because those are the connections that mean the most to us and those are the things that sustain us.

Nocturnal Animals opens in select theaters November 18.

More From ScreenCrush