WILDLIFE – SEASON BURNING : beautiful intimate drama of family – a Critique

First introduced in the U.S. Drama Competition at Sundance, the first film Paul Dano is now found in the opening of the semaine de la Critique. In this adaptation of the novel by Richard Ford, WILDLIFE – A SEASON of fire: the neo-director filming brilliantly the disintegration of an american family.

At the round table devoted to Sundance to adaptations of novels to film, Paul Dano (Okja, 12 years a slave) has explained that they have read the novel by Richard Ford, at the age of 28 years, and have been touched by his poetry and his environment of the North-american West. Wishing to go behind the camera, he wanted to make a film for the family, while enjoying have a structure that is already written, more reassuring. The writer, who was then asked to agree, is said to have replied : “my book is my book, your movie is your movie “, leaving him so much freedom. Assisted in co-writing by his companion, Zoe Kazan, they tried to communicate their emotions to the reading, just by adding them as friends to the character of Joe that didn’t exist in the book.

WILDLIFE – SEASON BURNING starts slowly and the developer takes the time to install the three characters that make up this typical family in the Montana of the sixties. The father, Jerry/Jake Gyllenhaal (Nocturnal Animals), the mother Jeanette/Carey Mulligan (Mudbound) and the teenage son of 14 years Joe/ Ed Oxenbould, a young australian actor who has a false air of Paul Dano. The family often moved to follow the work of the father, a former golfer. What makes WILDLIFE – A SEASON of ARDENT especially interesting is the transformation of all the characters from the moment where the father is fired from his job quite humbling man in a golf.

In line with the lessons of life that he gives to his son, his honour took a shot and he drowns his shame, his grief and his idleness in the alcohol. Paul Dano shows very well the passage of complicity in love with the couple at this new distance, which is introduced inevitably. The director offers a film quite contemplative and even experimental in how to use the contrechamps. And it takes the party, as if to underline the disintegration of this family, to make sure you do soon to show the three characters together.

Even if the boredom tip sometimes in WILDLIFE – A SEASON of fire: the parts gradually assembled the puzzle of this intimate drama give rise to the emotion in a beautiful final scene.

But it takes money, even if Jeanette has taken a part-time job, and that Joe is working as the assistant photographer. The father decides to leave for some time as fireman put out the fires that continue to burn in Montana. It breaks then definitely the camera intimate to finally very little money compared to the risks taken. His wife, up here love, understanding and positive does not forgive him. What she will do during the absence of her husband remains then frankly incomprehensible … from the point of view of his son, but also of ours ! It does more than just as a mother but as a woman in need of affection, which is maintain by a rich out of the corner crippled. No love in here, even if she is not proud of it, but it is may be the price to pay for his emancipation. Because it is finally a lot of pride, honor scorned and humiliated in WILDLIFE – SEASON BURNING.

The camera of Paul Dano does not loose the face of the young Joe, who sees his base family crack under his eyes. He gradually loses his bearings (re-father), who is worried about what will happen. Sometimes a witness of the exchanges and arguments, and sometimes the messenger between his parents, trying not to take sides and to understand what is happening to them at all, it is extracted painfully from the duo parental. And he can only watch helplessly, sickened and collapsed with the disintegration of his family. The look he has on his parents, moves from the admiration of a trusting to the judgment in disgust. Even if the boredom tip sometimes in WILDLIFE – to A SEASON of BURNING, the pieces gradually assembled the puzzle of this intimate drama, creates a very strong emotion in a beautiful final scene.

Review published on 22 January 2018 at the Screening at Sundance

Sylvie-Noelle

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WILDLIFE – SEASON BURNING : beautiful intimate drama of family – Critical
Original title : Wildlife

Achievement : Paul Dano

Scenario : Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, after the work of Richard Ford

Main actors : Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ed Oxenbould, Bill Camp

Release Date : 19 December 2018

Duration : 1h44 min
3.5final grade
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