Wildlife (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

Wildlife (2018)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Wildlife's portrait of a family in crisis is beautifully composed by director Paul Dano -- and brought brilliantly to life by a career-best performance from Carey Mulligan.

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Elegantly adapted from Richard Ford's novel of the same name, Carey Mulligan (MUDBOUND, AN EDUCATION) delivers one of her finest performances to date as Jeanette, a complex woman whose self-determination and self-involvement disrupts the values and expectations of a 1960s nuclear family. Fourteen-year-old Joe played by newcomer Ed Oxenbould, is the only child of Jeanette (Mulligan) and Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal)--a housewife and a golf pro--in a small town in 1960s Montana. Nearby, an uncontrolled forest fire rages close to the Canadian border, and when Jerry loses his job--and his sense of purpose--he decides to join the cause of fighting the fire, leaving his wife and son to fend for themselves. Suddenly forced into the role of an adult, Joe witnesses his mother's struggle as she tries to keep her head above water. With precise details and textures of its specific time and place, WILDLIFE commits to the viewpoint of a teenage boy observing the gradual dissolution of his parents' marriage.

Cast

Carey Mulligan
as Jeanette Brinson
Jake Gyllenhaal
as Jerry Brinson
Bill Camp
as Warren Miller
Ed Oxenbould
as Joe Brinson
Darryl Cox
as Clarence Snow

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Critic Reviews for Wildlife

All Critics (73) | Top Critics (21)

Ms. Mulligan shows her character no mercy, at least on the surface; her performance is startling, and for the most part unsparing.

October 19, 2018 | Full Review…

Gyllenhaal and Mulligan are in fine form here, but too much of the screenplay, written by Dano and Zoe Kazan, doesn't ring true.

October 18, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

She's a woman out of time, and Ford's story, written 30 years ago, set 60 years ago, is strikingly resonant.

October 18, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Wildlife is both stately and messy, in the way mid-century America so often seems to look through the rearview mirror.

October 18, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

If the drama feels somewhat studied - though it would be more accurate to say that it simply feels thought through - it is never airless or constricted. The story maintains a steady emotional pulse alongside its meticulous accrual of details...

October 18, 2018 | Full Review…

The whole of the film is a potent collaboration in every respect, and a remarkable directorial debut.

October 18, 2018 | Full Review…

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