4.13: "Wildlife" Film vs. Novel
You asked. I'm delivering. In today’s episode, we’re discussing the film adaptation of the Richard Ford novel “Wildlife”, as requested by YOU! Thank you for heeding the call on a recent “Bri Books Bites” asking which of my most recent reads you’d be most interested in chatting about. HUGE thank you to @bethcorinnek, who commented TWICE on Instagram, requesting we dissect the novel and film. Both the film and novel communicated the unexpected vulnerability that accompanies blurred lines within a family. It’s that vulnerability--between spouses and between child and parent--that permeates both expressions of this incredible story. #BriBooks recommends “Wildlife” 100%. Hopefully after this episode, you’ll be more encouraged to pick up book from library or pop into local theater to support the “Wildlife” film.
“Wildlife” was released in the US in late 2018, co-written by Zoe Kazan. It was the directorial debut of Paul Dano, and the work of incredible production designer Akin McKenzie and cinematographer Diego García. The novel begins in 1960 rural Great Falls, Montana, and we’re introduced to a family of three—dad Jerry, mom Jeanette, and their 16-year-old son, Joe. The wildfire season’s flames are burning more than the neighboring forests near Great Falls. The flames tear through the family fabric after Jerry, who has lost his job as a golf coach, decides to take the low-pay, high-risk job of fighting fires at the front, leaving Jeanette and Joe essentially to fend for themselves in this lonely Montana town.
The experience of watching film “Wildlife” in theaters was a gorgeous feast for the eyes. The distant, almost sad wide shots of the Montana landscape mimic an oil painting-esque experience of being trapped, frozen in space. There were so many great human moments in the film that expressed the loneliness encountered in the novel.
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