Carrie Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaall star in this 2018 dram film, directed by star of Little Miss Sunshine, Prisoners and 12 Years a Slave Paul Dano. The film  centers in on the story of the Brinson family who recently make the move to Montana. When Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaall) loses his job at a country club, he decides to join the firefighters, leaving his wife Jeanette (Carrie Mulligan) and teenage son Joe (Ed Oxenbould) to fend for themselves.

As his mother struggles with her husbands absence, Ed is forced to take more responsibility and we see the two struggle to come to terms with their new life in Montana. This is a really excellent film and a brilliant directional debut from Paul Dano. We see are treated with stunning performances from the always excellent Carrie Mulligan, who continues to demonstrate her versatility as an actress and yet another masterclass from Jake Gyllenhaall. Young Australian actor Ed Oxenbould is also superb as their son Joe.

The film is set in the 60s in both Montana and Oklahoma and visually really manages to capture the scenery of the time and also really captures the financial struggles of many a family at the time. The isolation and loneliness experienced by many women is also encapsulated very well and helped by the extraordinary performance of Carrie Mulligan. We get a vivid portrayal of what it is like to grow up in 1960’s America and the struggles that come with it.  This is a beautifully layered film as well and better minds than mine will be able to identify and unravel greater meaning.

What’s really great about this film is that it doesn’t interfere to much in the characters. It lets situations play out and the resolutions feel natural and realistic. We feel the tension between Jerry and Jeanette and the worry and stress that the young Joe is experiencing while trying to hold the family together. One of the most important things for any film is for the audience to empathise with it’s characters and their stories and in this case we care about and sympathise with all three characters. There is a refreshingly subtle edge to this film and we don’t get the impression that it’s  forcing a certain idea on to us. Dano is detailed in his work but he also knows when to stand back and let the story flow. This results in a moving piece of film and one that will have a long lasting impact on you.

This is a film I would highly recommend you see and  is the highest rated ‘Revlix’ film so far.

9/10

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