Critic Consensus: Wildlife's portrait of a family in crisis is beautifully composed by director Paul Dano -- and brought brilliantly to life by a career-best performance from Carey Mulligan.
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Ms. Mulligan shows her character no mercy, at least on the surface; her performance is startling, and for the most part unsparing.
Gyllenhaal and Mulligan are in fine form here, but too much of the screenplay, written by Dano and Zoe Kazan, doesn't ring true.
She's a woman out of time, and Ford's story, written 30 years ago, set 60 years ago, is strikingly resonant.
Wildlife is both stately and messy, in the way mid-century America so often seems to look through the rearview mirror.
If the drama feels somewhat studied - though it would be more accurate to say that it simply feels thought through - it is never airless or constricted. The story maintains a steady emotional pulse alongside its meticulous accrual of details...
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