IFC Films has released the first official trailer for “Wildife,” and it’s not hard to see why Paul Dano’s feature filmmaking debut is one of the most talked about films of the year. The 33-year-old actor, best known for masterful performances in films such as “There Will Be Blood,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” and “Prisoners,” has evidently learned a lot observing many of cinema’s greatest living auteurs. The family drama premiered to much acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and also screened as the opening night film in La Semaine de la Critique at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
Written by Dano and Zoe Kazan, “Wildlife” is adapted from Richard Ford’s novel of the same name. Carey Mulligan stars as Jeanette, a complicated woman living in rural Montana in the 1960s with her husband Joe (Jake Gyllenhaal) and 14-year-old son (newcomer Ed Oxenbould). As forest fires rage just at the Canadian border, a directionless Joe volunteers to help, leaving his family to fend for themselves.
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 first full trailer teases powerhouse performance from Mulligan, announcing her as a clear contender heading into Oscar season. Dano’s assured direction is also on full display, proving he has an eye for stunning visuals and eliciting natural performances.
IFC Films opens “Wildlife” in select theaters October 19. Watch the first official trailer below.