Have you ever wanted to step away from everything? Take a break from your daily routine and just disappear into your own world for a few hours? Howard Wakefield does. That’s the premise of “Wakefield,” the upcoming release from IFC Films. In the movie, Bryan Cranston‘s character decides one morning that he’s going to walk away from his suburban family life and spy on his loved ones through the window of his garage. As hours turn into days, Wakefield begins to wonder just how far he’ll take his little disappearing act, eventually losing all sense of himself in the process.
“Wakefield” premiered last year at the Telluride Film Festival, where its imaginative premise captured the attention of plenty of critics. While many reviews praised the tour de force performances by Cranston and co-star Jennifer Garner, they also noted that it was a difficult premise to land, falling short of resolving Wakefield’s tremendous betrayal of his loved ones. Our own review of the film didn’t pull any punches, with critic Gregory Ellwood describing the movie as one that would have you leaving the theater “shaking your head, and never wanting to think about it again.” Some might find the film as an unusual portrait of mental illness, while others may see it a deep character study of the world’s most unlikable man. Your mileage, as always, may vary.
Here’s the full plot synopsis for “Wakefield”:
In Robin Swicord’s adaptation of E.L. Doctorow’s short story, successful suburbanite commuter Howard Wakefield takes a perverse detour from family life: He vanishes without a trace. Hidden in the attic of his carriage house garage, surviving by scavenging at night, Howard secretly observes the lives of his wife and children and neighbors. “Wakefield” becomes a fraught meditation on marriage and identity, as Howard slowly realizes that he has not in fact left his family, he has left himself.
“Wakefield” will open in theaters on May 19 before hitting VOD on May 26.