Review of ‘Wolf’ – The Hollywood Reporter

It’s easy to make assumptions about a movie called Wolf before you see it. Will the story of a young man who believes he is a wild animal be a horror movie? A comedy movie? The combination of the two, like American Werewolf in London? Director Nathalie Biancheri’s second film (2019’s .) At night) challenges such low expectations by instead featuring a serious indie drama about species depression (which is a problem) and the ruthless methods used to cure it. sick by a ruthless doctor. And while that may sound like it can pull off a lot of unintentional humour, the filmmaker has so much control over the style that she manages to magically make it a success. Wolf It certainly won’t be for all tastes, but adventure moviegoers will find plenty to appreciate.

British actor George MacKay, who here can show more intense physical than he did in 1917, plays the central character of Jacob, who suffers from the aforementioned condition. His worried parents send him to the oddly named clinic True You, where his patients include people who think they’re animals like ducks, squirrels, horses, raccoons, spiders, and spiders. parrot. The facility also includes a longtime patient, Wildcat (Lily-Rose Depp), whose seniority apparently allows her to roam the grounds at will.


Key point

An awe-inspiring success.

Release date: Friday, December 3

Cast: George MacKay, Lily-Rose Depp, Paddy Considine, Eileen Walsh

Director and screenwriter: Nathalie Biacheri

R Rated, 1 hour 35 minutes

Although a kind, empathetic therapist (Eileen Walsh) conducts many sessions aimed at helping patients reconnect with their identities, the facility is actually run by Dr. Mann (Paddy Considine) . Dubbed the “Zoo Keeper,” his approach is very much like a harsh love, prone to masochism. To cure Jeremy (Darragh Shannon), who considers himself a squirrel, he instructs the young man to attempt to climb a tree using his fingernails as claws, with terrible results. predictable horror. And he encourages Judith (Lola Petticrew), who considers herself a parrot (and comically dresses herself as such), to jump out of a second-floor window to see if she can, in fact fly or not.

Jacob is not immune to such treatment, sometimes forced to wear a collar or be locked in a cage. However, his wolf-like instincts continued to kick in as he roamed the premises on all fours and howled at moonlit evenings. And his connection to the Wildcat was certainly physical as well as emotional, as evidenced by their ferocious mating rituals. The pair’s growing relationship, and Jacob’s attempt to survive The Zookeeper’s increasingly dangerous treatments, are at the heart of the story.

While allegorical opportunities abound, screenwriter/director Biancheri has thankfully avoided being too heavy-handed about them. She also provides much-needed dose of dark humor, such as letting the parrot girl live her birding inspirations by repeating everything she hears. However, she said succinctly, in providing much detail about the unusual psychological condition described, let’s save for a not-so-convincing scene in which it is explained that a man He thought he was the lion who had an experience where he was forced to eat passengers after a plane crash.

What really makes the film a success is the highly committed performance of the top three. Considine takes a terrifying command when a doctor is so convinced of the effectiveness of his extreme methods that he is willing to put his patient in jeopardy. And MacKay and Depp embody their beastly characters to perfection. Under the explicit expert guidance of motion coach Terry Notary, whose motion capture performance credits include Avatar and Hobbit and Planet of the monkeys series, they use their small physique to great effect. They manage to make the nasty species seem sexy as hell.

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