The prestige debut film is cornerstone of the modern art house market, and thus a persistent presence at Sundance. They are beautifully (almost too-cleanly) photographed, ostentatiously performed, over-explanatory, and narratively tidy. Paul Dano
’s Wildlife has some of these pitfalls – in particular, it feels terribly insular to the point that anyone besides the four main performances feels under-directed – but is on the whole a mature, thoughtful film that I found awfully affecting.
Joe (Ed Oxenbould
) has been on the move. His parents are habitually restless, rambling generally eastward in search of new jobs, new neighborhoods, new lives. At fourteen, he’s too old to keep going through it and too young to do anything about it. Lately, they’ve settled in Montana. They don’t know anyone. Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal
), is making the best of his job at a golf course, which means nothing when he is suddenly fired. His wife,