Latest Reviews
Home » Hollywood » WILDLIFE


Gloom, bleakness, a pensive dread hovers over the initial scenes of this vital, directorial debut by Paul Dano; a family on the brink of disintegration, newcomers to a tiny community in Montana, where fires are devouring the mountainous range; blue skies warring with encroaching, villainous smoke.  The major conflagration is silently raging in the “Brinson” household: “Jerry” (another prescient performance by Jake Gyllenhaal) is an obsequious, back-slapping golf pro, who looses his position at the country club, only to wallow in self-aggrandizement; “Jeanette Brinson” (Carey Mulligan is gifted in the role), in “Stepford” style goes the distance encouraging, placating Jerry’s ego; “Joe” (Ed Oxenbould’s sensitive, conflicted depiction, is the heart of “Wildlife”) fourteen, bright and recognizing the fissures in his parents marriage, grapples with his concern and love for both; more than in a state of flux, this family is flirting with annihilation.

Jerry, abandons his wife and son, joining the poorly paid firefighters, igniting Jeanette’s transformation;  Mulligan’s mesmerizing portrayal, shedding conformity, is spellbinding; the “trollop” surfaces (seduction of aging, wealthy businessman “Warren Miller” exemplary, Bill Camp), shamelessly Jeanette, drags Joe to her clandestine assignations; he is her witness, judge, and interpreter of her unraveling; her shrinkage breeds his emotional and intellectual growth.

“Wildlife” informed by a 1960 landscape, resonates with confinement, entrapment; women were defined, and oftentimes suffocated, pulverized by their marriages; this retrospective proves how far we’ve come, while acknowledging the miles, we’ve yet to transverse.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Notify via Email Only if someone replies to My Comment

Scroll To Top