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'Wildlife' star Carey Mulligan and director/co-writer Paul Dano were spotted at Cannes Film Festival earlier this month (May 9). (Photo: Getty Images)

Actor Paul Dano (Swiss Army Man, 12 Years a Slave) makes his directorial debut with the film Wildlife, which he co-wrote with Ruby Sparks co-star Zoe Kazan. He’s starting out strong as a first-time director, casting A-list actors Carey Mulligan (Suffragette) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Stronger) in the leads, reports

The film is an adaptation of Richard Ford‘s 1990 novel of the same name. Set in 1960s Montana, it revolves around a nuclear family. Mulligan and Gyllenhaal portray married couple Jeanette and Jerry Brinson, who are raising their 14-year-old son, Joe (Ed Oxenbould).

When Jerry loses his job as a golf pro, their marriage and family life start to fall apart. We watch the disintegration through the eyes of their teenage son, as seen in the new trailer:

We only see a brief flash of fire in the clip, but the film’s description tells us that a forest fire rages near their small town, close to the Canadian border. Being jobless, Jerry decides to join the effort to fight the blaze, leaving his wife and son on their own.

While Jeannette has faith in her husband, saying, “He’s been out of work before and he always finds his way,” she also feels abandoned. Yes, he’s off heroically fighting fire and seeking work, but a spouse can only take so much alone time… Her son witnesses his mother seek comfort from another man.

The film premiered in the U.S. at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, with a theatrical release yet to be announced.

In January, Dano talked to the Sundance audience following the screening, saying, “I was really moved by [Ford’s book], and I think something that he captured that I loved was the feeling that family is one of the greatest loves of our life. And because of that, it’s also one of the greatest sources of struggle and possibly pain in our life, and it’s because of love that we experience that pain. And so the compassion towards these sort of flawed parents, and witnessing that through the kid’s eyes, spoke to me.”

Earlier this year, Mulligan starred in the crime series Collateral, which you can find over at Netflix.

What do you think of Carey Mulligan’s performance as a 1960s housewife? We think she nailed it!  

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By Brigid Brown