Here’s a trailer for a film we first reviewed out at Cannes earlier on this year. The film is Wildlife, the directorial debut of actor Paul Dano, which plays at the BFI London Film Festival next month, before heading to cinemas in the UK in November.
14-year-old Joe is the only child of Jeanette and Jerry—a housewife and a golf pro—in a small town in 1960s Montana. Nearby, an uncontrolled forest fire rages close to the Canadian border, and when Jerry loses his job—and his sense of purpose—he decides to join the cause of fighting the fire, leaving his wife and son to fend for themselves. Suddenly forced into the role of an adult, Joe witnesses his mother’s struggle as she tries to keep her head above water.
Actor Paul Dano makes an impressive debut as a filmmaker and—along with co-writer Zoe Kazan—elegantly adapts Richard Ford’s novel of the same name. Carey Mulligan delivers one of her finest performances as a complex woman whose self-determination and self-involvement disrupts the values and expectations of the 1960s nuclear family. With precise details and textures of its specific time and place, Wildlife commits to the viewpoint of a teenage boy observing the gradual dissolution of his parents’ marriage.
Here’s a snippet from my original review:
Wildlife is a well-rounded, expertly-crafted film – the quality of which we maybe wouldn’t have expected from a first-time director. As fans of the previous Dano/ Kazan screenwriting team-up Ruby Sparks, we predicted to enjoy this film, but going in expecting a rough-edged debut piece from a promising filmmaker with decades ahead of him, we got something completely different – an altogether perfectly formed character-driven piece, near-flawlessly directed, expertly adapted and perfectly honed from its source material. A Cannes stand-out.
You can read our full review of the film from Cannes here, and see the film in UK cinemas from 9th November.