While travelling home from another day at work, Howard Wakefield is not looking forward to returning to his wife and two daughters. Upon arriving home, Howard discovers a raccoon outside and sees it running into his garage where it hides in the attic above. As Howard chases the raccoon, he discovers that he can see his whole family in his home by standing in the attic. Howard in this moment decides to hide and live in the attic from now on where he can watch his family from afar and becomes a missing person.
Howard spends a lot of time thinking about past and present, and we get to see and hear his thoughts as well as flashbacks of his life. In regards to Howard as a character, I would say this is a form of a nervous breakdown as he refuses to go home, return to work or contact anyone from the world. Will Howard ever reveal his secret or perhaps return home to his family?
This is a very unique story. Considering the film’s title is simply called “Wakefield” and the poster is of a man standing inside of a window, I really had no clue about this film other than it starred the ever so talented Bryan Cranston (best known from Breaking Bad). No surprise to myself, Bryan Cranston is incredible. There are many moments within this film that deliver so much depth as Howard expresses his thoughts and shows his emotions. There will be times as the audience where you can agree with Howard’s thoughts and other times where you are reminded that this is HIS story and his choices; even if they are choosing which you may disagree with and shake your head about at times.
Wakefield is well acted by Cranston and the cinematography includes many creative shots, particularly during scenes changes and transitions. While Cranston is joined on screen by actress Jennifer Garner, I would have preferred a stronger performance from her character as Wakefield’s wife.
Overall, I enjoyed Wakefield for what it is- a man who suddenly changed his mind about going home and dealing with his past and present. While Bryan Cranston’s performance is strong and the best element of this film, some scenes feel dragged or slightly out of place, but after all, this is his story.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden