Paul Dano has been delivering excellent performances in front of the camera for over a decade now, from “Little Miss Sunshine” to “There Will Be Blood,” “Prisoners,” and “Love & Mercy,” but the 33-year-old actor is now a breakout director thanks to his feature debut “Wildlife.” The family drama premiered to critical acclaim at Sundance earlier this year and stirred up even more buzz at Cannes this month.
Written by Dano and Zoe Kazan, “Wildlife” is based on the 1990 Richard Ford novel of the same name. Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal star as a couple whose marriage falls apart after they move to Montana and Mulligan’s Jeanette falls in love with another man. Newcomer Ed Oxenbould plays the couple’s young child who gets caught between the emotional devastation of his parents.
IndieWire’s David Ehrlich praised Dano’s directorial debut as “stunningly beautiful” in his A- review out of Sundance. “It’s a tender, gorgeous, and exquisitely understated drama about a family that loses its faith in itself,” Ehrlich wrote.
The debut trailer below puts Mulligan’s powerhouse performance front and center. Oscar buzz for the actress started immediately after the movie first screened at Sundance, and IFC Films is surely hoping to make her a contender with the film’s fall release date.
“Wildlife” opens in select theaters October 19. Watch the first trailer below.