IFC Films has released the first trailer for Paul Dano’s directorial debut, the phenomenal family drama Wildlife. The film is based on Richard Ford’s novel of the same name, and Dano teamed up with Zoe Kazan to co-write the screenplay, who wrote and co-starred with Dano in the underrated Ruby Sparks. This is a very different kind of film, however, as it takes place in the 1960s and tells the story of a family falling apart from the point of view of a 14-year-old only child named Joe (Ed Oxenbould). Jake Gyllenhaal plays the father, who loses his job and decides to take a desperation gig fighting a wildfire, leaving his wife and son to fend for themselves. Carey Mulligan plays the matriarch, and she delivers quite possibly the best performance of her career as a woman trying to straddle the duties of motherhood with her own lost sense of purpose and direction.
I caught the film at Sundance and absolutely loved it (you can read my review here), and I’m hoping IFC Films can position this one correctly in this year’s awards race. Mulligan absolutely deserves recognition, as do Dano and Kazan for their pointed, elegant screenplay.
Check out the Wildlife trailer below. The film also stars Bill Camp and Zoe Margaret Colletti. Wildlife opens in theaters on October 19th.