Great Falls, Montana, 1960; when Jerry Brinson (Jake Gyllenhaal) finds a job fighting a huge forest fire nearby, his marriage begins to fall apart. Paul Dano’s directing debut was written by himself and his girlfriend, exploring an unhappy relationship through the eyes of their teenage son. Ed Oxenbould is terrific as the kid, increasingly perplexed by his mother’s behavior; Carey Mulligan delivers one of her best screen performances as a woman who doesn’t know what she wants but has been held back and is desperately and irresponsibly ready for change. Directed with a gripping tinge of sadness, marked by that symbolic fire raging a few miles away.
2018-U.S. 105 min. Color. Produced by Paul Dano, Andrew Duncan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riva Marker, Oren Moverman, Ann Ruark, Alex Saks. Directed by Paul Dano. Screenplay: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan. Novel: Richard Ford. Cast: Carey Mulligan (Jeanette Brinson), Jake Gyllenhaal (Jerry Brinson), Ed Oxenbould (Joe Brinson), Bill Camp, Zoe Margaret Colletti.
Last word: “Carey felt like she doesn’t often get to play a woman who gets to be messy because people don’t want to see that. Whereas men can be lionised for their problems – they’re applauded. […] There’s parts of you which get repressed if you have a kid when you’re 20 and you’re following your husband around. I think in a way those feelings come roaring out instead of being dealt with in a nice way.” (Dano on Mulligan and her character, Esquire)