Movie Review – Wander Darkly (2020)

Wander Darkly, 2020.

Written and Directed by Tara Miele.
Starring Diego Luna, Sienna Miller, Tory Kittles, Brett Rice, Vanessa Bayer, Aimee Carrero, and Beth Grant.




New dad and mom Adrienne and Matteo are pressured to reckon with trauma amidst their troubled relationship. They need to revisit the reminiscences of their previous and unravel haunting truths in an effort to face their unsure future.


There are factors awarded for ambition in author/director Tara Miele’s Wander Darkly, a trippy piece exploring trauma and grief presumably from the afterlife or some state of existential limbo following a nasty automotive accident that leaves the already frayed lovebirds Matteo and Adrienne (Diego Luna and Sienna Miller respectively) piecing collectively and recontextualizing previous reminiscences to course of a larger fact and in a position to transfer on what the long run. A part of the journey is determining whether or not they’re ghosts, unconsciously dreaming, having psychological reactions (Adrienne had a traumatic expertise giving delivery which may nonetheless be affecting her), or religious guides for each other. In that respect, the movie is intelligent, particularly given that there’s a clear thematic route.

Nonetheless, I’ve to do one thing I typically don’t like doing when writing critiques; admitting that principally Wander Darkly simply jogged my memory of different and sometimes higher motion pictures that I really feel compelled to say to not drop cinema data, however to specific simply what number of concepts really feel jammed into one narrative. This film begins off just like the love little one between Jacob’s Ladder and Last Vacation spot earlier than morphing into Inception, Everlasting Sunshine of the Spotless Thoughts, and a thriller tackle A Ghost Story all with the presentation of a Charlie Kaufman story and little of the emotional arrest.


As talked about, Matteo and Adrienne are going by way of a tough patch; there are monetary issues, they’re drifting aside romantically, accusations of infidelity, and the babysitter which is definitely simply Adrienne’s dad and mom and the one supply of help is being pushed away. However, Matteo pressures Adrienne to go for a enjoyable evening out which ends up in extra arguing and a deadly automotive accident.

Correctly, Tara Miele doesn’t waste any time attending to the excessive idea thoughts video games because the automotive accident happens about seven minutes in. From there, we’re with Adrienne who appears to be having some type of out of physique expertise interacting with the previous, current, and in some instances altered futures. She can also’t die as she checks operating into visitors. Confused about what the hell is occurring, she does encounter Matteo who insists they’re certainly alive and that he doesn’t abandon their daughter sooner or later (one imaginative and prescient locations Adrienne observing a teenage model of their daughter sobbing attempting to know why her father left). Adrienne can be utilizing this inexplicable phenomenon as a possibility to query every thing she is aware of about her relationship with Matteo on whether or not or not he was controlling, devoted, loving, and a few actually on the market ideas like in the event that they even actually had a daughter. These sequences of the couple reliving previous key moments of their lives are additionally interwoven along with stylistic modifying that each additional accomplishes Wander Darkly as a hypnotic expertise and masks among the movie’s flaws.


Wander Darkly isn’t that keen on dissecting these characters, which considerably hurts the connection evaluation of all of it, selecting to reside or die based mostly on sensory filmmaking and daring concepts. Often, the movie appears to be throwing every thing on the wall in hopes that one thing will stick, which might additionally make for a disorienting expertise though it nonetheless wouldn’t be correct to say the story is indecipherable. It’s very clear, and if something, suffers as a result of there are solely one in all two methods the grand reveal can go.

Regardless of that muddled characterization and sensation that the movie genuinely has no thought what it desires to do for 80 minutes except for fixed misdirection away from what’s actually occurring, the performances from Diego Luna and Sienna Miller are wired into the heavy themes. Even with a thinly sketched relationship, they take advantage of this message on the significance of discovering closure throughout the grieving course of. It’s additionally laborious to dislike an R-rated sci-fi grownup drama with splashes of thriller and eroticism that’s decided to throw one’s mind for a loop. Simply count on each film that involves thoughts whereas watching Wander Darkly to have executed the concepts higher.

Flickering Fantasy Score – Movie: ★ ★ ★ / Film: ★ ★ ★

Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Movie Critics Affiliation and the Critics Selection Affiliation. He’s additionally the Flickering Fantasy Critiques Editor. Test right here for brand new critiques, observe my Twitter or Letterboxd, or e-mail me at [email protected]

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