Paul Dano’s directorial debut follows a story about a boy named Joe (Ed Oxenbould) trying to take a hold of his parent’s marriage falling apart while also dealing with his mother falling in love with another man (Bill Camp). His father Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal) loses his job and his mother Jeannette (Carey Mulligan) has to look for work as a result.
Told from the point of view of Joe, you see the destruction/crumbling of his family. The film might be slow to some and I found the pacing throughout perfect. It’s a slow-burn family drama. The cinematography is gorgeous. close-ups of each characters, Dano holds it for the perfect time, and you feel their emotion. When Carey and Jake are conversing with one another, you feel like you are right there in that room witnessing it just as Joe is, or on the other end of the spectrum, Carey with Joe, Jake with Joe etc.
Wildlife is a wonderful directorial debut featuring powerhouse performances from everyone involved, gorgeous cinematography, a tight screenplay by Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan, and an intriguing story about a family falling apart in 1960s America.
Rating – ★★★★