A review of the new independent film “Wildlife”

This is a small story but one about a common occurrence – an imploding marriage – and it is told in a manner which is largely slow and quiet (the pace and action only pick up towards the end). Consequently it is not a film that will appeal to everyone but it is wonderfully acted and beautifully shot. 

Set in a small town in Montana in the 1960s, this is the directorial debut of actor Paul Dano and he co-wrote the script with his partner Zoe Dano, the tale being an adaptation of the novel by Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Ford.

The marriage in question is that of Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Jeanette (Cary Mulligan) but the viewpoint is that of their teenage son Joe (Ed Oxenbould) who reacts with his eyes more than with his words. All the performances are impressive but Mulligan is outstanding as a wife and mother who needs to find herself. 


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