Wakefield

Bryan Cranston hides in a garage and never comes out.

It says a lot about the film business that an indie movie with a small cast shot in a few locations with little synchronized dialogue would have 41 credited producers, 13 of whom are listed as executive producers and 20 as co-executive producers. Such is the case with Robin Swicord’s Wakefield — which, to its credit, doesn’t feel like it’s been executive-produced within an inch of its life.

Howard Wakefield (Bryan Cranston) is a successful Manhattan lawyer who lives in a fancy house in the suburbs with his classically beautiful wife (Jennifer Garner) and their two daughters. One evening, feeling stifled by all this success and stability, he decides to hide indefinitely in the attic of his fancy house’s detached garage. Though there are occasional flashbacks with actual dialogue, the film is entirely from Howard’s point of view as he spies on his family going on with their lives without what he considers to be enough grief over his unexplained disappearance. As he embraces his new lifestyle of rummaging through garbage for food — aka “freedom” — the experience doesn’t humble him but somehow makes him an even more entitled asshole. It’s always fun to watch Cranston at his most assholish. And if Wakefield is a bit overlong, it also ends at exactly the right moment.

Wakefield
Rated R.
Opens Friday.

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