Wildlife | Chicago Reader
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Wildlife

Paul Dano’s mannered fussiness as an actor carries over to his first effort as director, an adaptation of Richard Ford’s novel about an unhappy family in early 60s Montana. The story kicks into gear when the father (Jake Gyllenhaal), an overly proud control freak who bounces from job to job, gets hired to fight wildfires outside the small town where he’s recently moved his wife (Carey Mulligan) and 14-year-old son (Ed Oxenbould). Left alone, the solitary wife begins to question her identity (particularly with regard to her sexuality), and the son watches on with a mixture of confusion and wonder. Dano, who wrote the script with Zoe Kazan, tries to compensate for the familiarity of the material with emotionally precise performances and exacting compositions that reflect the characters’ upright behavior, but there’s no shaking the feeling that this sort of study of all-American repression has been done to death.

Credits

Director:

  • Paul Dano

Cast:

  • Carey Mulligan
  • Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Ed Oxenbould
  • Bill Camp
  • Zoe Colletti
  • Travis Bruyer
  • Darryl Cox
  • Mollie Milligan

Writers:

  • Paul Dano
  • Paul Franklin Dano
  • Richard Ford
  • Zoe Kazan

Producers:

  • Alex Saks
  • Paul Dano
  • Oren Moverman
  • Ann Ruark
  • Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Riva Marker
  • Zoe Kazan

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