Sunday, March 17, 2019

Wakefield in the Attic

Just watched "Wakefield" in the attic, and I thoroughly enjoyed the bizarreness (is that a word?) of it. However, it's not for everyone.

To clarify, I did not watch it in the attic, but much of the movie took place in the attic, over a garage, rather than the attic over a house. I particularly like the attic windows, as my bedroom has a similar window that allows the moonlight to flood over me a few nights each month. I couldn't help but think that the view from my window had something in common with Howard Wakefield's attic window, in that they both offer a glimpse into something we feel disconnected from at times. For me, it was the moon; for Howard it was his life.

If you enjoy contemplating the complexities of life and perhaps have even hovered over the thin line between sanity and insanity at one time or another, then you will enjoy this complex drama, written and directed by Robin Swicord, who incidentally also wrote the amazing screenplay for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Practical Magic." She is truly brilliant.

Bryan Cranston plays the main character who obviously experiences a mental breakdown and simply drops out of life by hiding in the garage attic and spying on his wife (played by Jennifer Garner) and two children.

This movie carries you through nearly every good and bad emotion that life has to offer. The innocent, trusting wife who shouldn't be so trusting, the perils of envy and one-upmanship, the little white lies that can change a person's life, the manipulation of those you supposedly love, the lost love, the road not taken, the kindness and mercy of the disabled, the hardness of the down and out, suspicions, and the fears and doubts that haunt us all are presented in this tale.

I must admit I wasn't thrilled with the ending of Wakefield, but I was captivated by the story line. Cranston did a great job, as did Jennifer Garner, who successfully conveyed her many and varied emotions visually, as we peeked at her with Howard - through the windows.

This movie was based on a story by E. L. Doctorow, which was based on another story by the great Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of "The Scarlet Letter." 

If you enjoy a story line a little off the beaten path, then by all means, watch "Wakefield."

"All I want is to get through the day."


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