In Cinemas 11/18
Reviewed London Film Festival October 2018
Director: Paul Dano
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ed Oxenbould
Ed Oxenbould plays Joe, an unassuming teenager who witnesses the polarisation of his parents as they struggle to find jobs in a Montana backwater town. Against the incongruous backdrop of late summer, forest fires, Joe’s mother Jeanette (Mulligan) - who wishes she were called something more flouncy like Ladi as in La di da - turns to the company of the town’s big wig when her petulant, hopeless husband (Gyllenhaal) joins a crew of wannabe firefighters and down and outs and heads for the hills.
“The cast is perfectly drawn, with a charismatic performance from Carey Mulligan who sports a range of fifties rags with enviable insouciance.”
In the vain hope of reuniting his father with their sorry family, Joe waits for the snow to fall to distinguish the flames that burn the distant landscape and his mother’s frustrated soul. The lighting is natural, the sound diegetic and the mood dampened despite the unfolding events. The cast is perfectly drawn, with a charismatic performance from Carey Mulligan who sports a range of fifties rags with enviable insouciance. This is a carefully paced, wistful first feature from Paul Dano.