A slow pan up, revealing the mountains on fire - they roar like wounded beasts, a whisper of agony on the air even miles and miles down the road. Their smoke burns day and night, saturates skin out here. Snow, ash, and soot - heaven forgets what it's spitting, but it never stops, a hell mist raining down on slow-moving cars full of gawking family sets.
Wild things run out of the fire by nature, but Wildlife is about the madness of men making destinies within it, and how that stings to the touch. Incinerates, a wake of destruction left by right-hand turns - the ones they leave behind in the dust, coping, flailing about; two whiskey sours past good intentions and drowning mighty fast.
When my parents split up I spent stark years plotting, in my prepubescent way, to bring them back together - I watched my mother dance with other men, flirt in her goofy way, and spat my own hellfire. The edges singed. I slept curled in a ball, quaking - I remember one of them looking down at me at night, forging a conspiracy. I whispered devilries in my mother's ear. Ruin everything, think consequences second.
Paul Dano's marvelously knowledgeable film, and Carey Mulligan's performance as the wounded lonely woman left behind in particular (my god, what a performance), brought all that lava bubbling back up - a froth of stomach pains, the indigestion of an adolescence upended. You can't quite put your finger on it, the hard red burning in the distance, but somewhere it thrums, hot at the backside of your brain. Mama, as she wants to be called, spins dizzy - it's a hell of a time to be alive, folks.