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TIFF Review: ‘Wildlife’

September 12, 2018Ben Mk



   
A teenage boy must come to terms with the disintegration of his parents' marriage in Wildlife, the affecting directorial debut from actor Paul Dano.

Set in 1960 Montana, the film stars Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal as Jeanette and Jerry Brinson, a seemingly happily married couple and parents to 14-year-old Joe (Ed Oxenbould). But when Jerry is fired from his job as groundskeeper at the local county club, it sets into motion a series of events that sees Joe forced to grow up and become the man of the house, confronting a whole other side of his mother and the less-than-perfect reality of his family in the process.

Scripted by Dano and his off-screen partner, Zoe Kazan, Wildlife is a character-driven portrait of an all-American family on the brink of self-destruction. Yet, despite the its somewhat dark subject matter, Dano and company manage to deliver a film that's as hopeful as it is melancholy.

Wildlife makes its Canadian premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 44 min.




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