WOLF – A Review by Cynthia Flores

WOLF – A Review by Cynthia Flores

I think it’s difficult to avoid being heavy-handed when you’re making a high-concept art house message movie. Italian writer/director Nathalie Biancheri embraces the bizarre. She dips between the line of telling the audience what to think and just holding up a mirror to the absurdity of believing you can change a person at their core.  

Wolf is the story of Jacob (George MacKay), a young man who suffers from a mixture of body dysmorphia and clinical lycanthropy. That is a rare psychiatric condition that involves a delusion that the sufferer is transforming into an animal. Because of his dysmorphia, he believes he is a wolf trapped in a human body. His parents have done all they can to help him change and be normal. As a last resort, he is finally sent to a renowned clinic run by a man only known as “the zookeeper” (Paddy Considine). He seems kind and understanding to the parents, but behind closed doors, he is cruel. Jacob embraces the idea that he can be cured. He participates with his other animal-bound peers as they are forced to undergo increasingly extreme forms of ‘curative’ therapies.  

The film succeeds in making it totally believable that Jacob is in therapy with a zoo of patients. Such as a girl called Parrott (Lola Petticrew), a younger boy who’s a German Shepard (Fionn O’Shea), or a girl that’s a horse (Elsa Fionuir). As well as others wrestling with their inner beasts. The physicality that actor George MacKay must practice as Jacob when he drops down on all fours to walk and move like a wolf is stunning to watch. As is the highly charged sexual attraction between him and Wildcat (Lily-Rose Depp). She’s a young woman that has lived most of her life at the facility. Once their friendship turns into love, Jacob is faced with a decision. Will he renounce his true self for a chance at love or give in to his nature as a wolf? 

I give Wolf a 4-star rating. It’s an entertaining morality play worth the thoughts you will apply to it. 

 

Directed by: Nathalie Biancheri

Written by: Nathalie Biancheri

Rated: R

Running Time: 1hr 38min

Drama / Thriller

Wide Theatrical Release: December 3rd

Starring: George MacKay, Lily-Rose Depp, Paddy Considine, Eileen Walsh

 

The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.

4 Stars – Good movie

3 Stars – OK movie

2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.

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