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WILDLIFE is the directorial debut of Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood, Little Miss Sunshine), co-written along with Zoe Kazan (The Big Sick). Elegantly adapted from Richard Ford’s novel of the same name, Carey Mulligan (Mudbound, An Education) delivers one of her finest performances to date as Jeanette, a complex woman whose self-determination and self-involvement disrupts the values and expectations of a 1960s nuclear family. Fourteen-year-old Joe played by newcomer Ed Oxenbould, is the only child of Jeanette (Mulligan) and Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal)—a housewife and a golf pro—in a small town in 1960s Montana. Nearby, an uncontrolled forest fire rages close to the Canadian border, and when Jerry loses his job—and his sense of purpose—he decides to join the cause of fighting the fire, leaving his wife and son to fend for themselves. Suddenly forced into the role of an adult, Joe witnesses his mother’s struggle as she tries to keep her head above water. With precise details and textures of its specific time and place, Wildlife commits to the viewpoint of a teenage boy observing the gradual dissolution of his parents’ marriage.

OUR SPOTLIGHT PROGRAM presentation features an onstage conversation with Carey Mulligan and Paul Dano, a screening of WILDLIFE, and the presentation of the MVFF Award. Join us after the program for a celebratory reception at Outdoor Art Club in Mill Valley.


Carey Mulligan exploded onto the independent film scene in 2009 with her unforgettably tender performance in An Education, and her career has gathered momentum ever since. A constantly in-demand actress, her work in the films Drive, Shame, The Great Gatsby, Mudbound, and Suffragette has won praise from audiences and critics alike, a trend sure to continue with her latest project, Wildlife.


Paul Dano is a true Hollywood multi-hyphenate: actor/director/screenwriter/producer/musician. The extraordinarily talented Dano started out strong on the Broadway stage and won the 2002 Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Performance in L.I.E. His burgeoning career sky-rocketed in 2007 with back-to-back acclaimed performances in Little Miss Sunshine and There Will Be Blood. Dano’s career continued to receive accolades for his performances in 12 Years a Slave, Love & Mercy, Swiss Army Man, and Okja, among many others. Based on the Robert Ford novel, Wildlife, adapted with life and work partner Zoe Kazan, marks Dano’s auspicious directorial debut.

7:00pm  | CinéArts Sequoia

Program & Reception:  $85 general | $75 CFI members
Program Only:  $45 general | $40 CFI members