Thursday, October 15, 2015

Wildlike (TFF 2015) - Movie Review

Wildlike, written and directed by Frank Hall Green, is an official selection of the 2015 Tacoma Film Festival. The movie stars Bruce Greenwood, Ella Purnell, Brian Geraghty, Nolan Gerard Funk, Diane Farr, Ann Dowd, Joshua Leonard, and Joe Boxer the Bear as Grizzly Bear.

The Story:
Mackenzie (Purnell) is a teenage girl from Seattle who is being sent by her struggling mother to live with an uncle in Alaska. Unfortunately, things don't go so well between the two and the youngster is forced to either run away or stay in a dangerous situation. As she looks for a way to get back home, she ends up joining an older man named Rene Bartlett (Greenwood), or Bart as he prefers, on a hiking adventure through the Denali National Forest. As the two reluctantly get to know each other, they realize they may not be so vastly different as they originally thought and Bart must decide if he will help this young refugee or turn her over to the authorities.

The Review:
If nothing else, this film is a great advertisement for tourism in Alaska. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking and everything about the place from the rolling hills and towering peaks to the small villages and waterfront vistas all look so appealing, you'll want to call your travel agent as soon as you're done watching the movie. Of course, there's actually a story being told her as well and Mr. Frank Hall Green has done a great job of putting it all together in a very dramatic and entertaining fashion. If there was an award for "best odd couple", Bruce Greenwood and Ella Purnell would surely walk away with it as their characters are so vastly different in every way, yet they manage to find a common ground and chemistry that really carries the picture.

In a relatively short time, Ella Purnell has really made a mark for herself with roles in Kick-Ass 2, Maleficent, and now in her first starring role with this film. Douglas Aibel and Stephanie Holbrook are credited with casting the film and they deserve a lot of credit for putting these two together. Aside from the obvious differences, they each have an introspective quality about them that becomes the foundation for their characters' developing friendship over the course of the story. Both characters are damaged in very fundamental ways and the two actors use that energy as the foundation and strength of who they are. It then becomes easy to see why Mackenzie would want to tag along with Bart and how Bart would accept having this girl along with him during what is supposed to be a time of solitude and reflecting on something he has lost.

The Verdict:
Wildlike is a very strong movie rooted in the spirit of independent film making and is made even better by some really outstanding acting performances. Frank Hall Green and the rest of the cast and crew have been raking in awards at film festivals all across the country and, after watching it for myself, I can definitely see why. CLICK HERE to see how you can watch the film On Demand right now.


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