A directorial debut from Paul Dano, Wildlife is an adaptation of Richard Ford’s novel and is an exemplary look at a crumbling family unit in 1960s America.
Fourteen-year-old Joe is the only child of Jeanette and Jerry in a small town in 1960s Montana. They are the Brinsons, a wholesome family that appear to have it all. Until Jerry loses his job. What ensues is a delicate labour of love, focusing on the details that make up the relationships with those who are closest to us.
Jerry, played by the brilliant Jake Gyllenhaal, decides to re-purpose himself, by volunteering to fight the nearby forest fires. Carey Mulligan takes an outstanding turn as Jeanette, who, upon hearing of Jerry’s decision to leave home, yearns for the time she feels she has lost. And young Joe is caught in the middle of his parents’ tug of war.
Though slight in its storyline, Wildlife is a truly affecting experience. Joe is played with maturity and sincerity by Ed Oxenbould, with Gyllenhaal and Mulligan adding real depth to a story seen through the eyes of a young man.
BBFC Advice: Contains moderate sex references, infrequent strong language
Running Time: 1hr 45mins
BBFC Advice: 12A
Director(s): Paul Dano
Country of Origin: USA
Year of release: 2018