Wildlife ★★★

Well, ain’t this a wild life, son?

I am a forest fire, a blazing wildfire. Joe remains quiet, bewildered as he observes the ember glow in a distance, a raging inferno and his father is not there at all. What is going to happen when the family unit has already cracked? On the surface, it looks like a lovely family portrait that is framed immaculately, with aesthetically pleasing pastel hues. The picture is scrubbed clean, pretty and calm while something more sinister is brewing. Eyes look straight at the camera, then comes the affable smiles but I still could not shake off the hollowness from underneath. The idyllic muteness of Montana surely suffocates as we drift into Joe’s bemused head-space, mercilessly torn between mom and dad. I respect Paul Dano for his worldview, his vision of a land being helplessly incinerated to tiny motes of dust, compared to a household being burned alive. The last shot is perfect. Carey Mulligan is mesmerizing. Otherwise, Wildlife is indeed a wild, untamed conflagration but life…there is almost none.