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Wildlife Review

28 Oct

Beautifully shot and fairly compelling for a refreshingly simple story, but the entire thing is almost a bit too technical, a bit too controlled. The writing and directing keep you at a distance for far too long, and the entire arc of the story struggles to build emotional resonance. It’s almost as if Dano and Kazan, in the name of being understated, didn’t particularly develop any aspect of the story and instead relied on sad domestic drama bullet points. I’m also just not as impressed with Oxenbould as everyone else seems to be; the performance isn’t interesting enough to have him be the focal point, though I’m a fan of the idea.

With that being said, it’s a well made film with moments that really hit. Case in point: the final scene, which is easily one of the best of the year and conveys so much with so little. Mulligan and Gyllenhaal are predictably great, though the latter doesn’t get enough to work with. All around solid film, but it won’t make a big awards splash like it seemed destined to do at first. And it probably shouldn’t anyway.

GRADE: B

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