Fourteen-year-old Joe is the only child of Jeanette and Jerry, a housewife and a golf pro, in a small town in 1960s Montana. Nearby, an uncontrolled forest fire rages close to the Canadian border, and when Jerry loses his job, and his sense of purpose, he decides to join the cause of fighting the fire, leaving his wife and son to fend for themselves. Suddenly forced into the role of an adult, Joe witnesses his mother's struggle as she tries to keep her head above water.
"Wildlifeis about a kid seeing his parents change and their marriage break - and through his parents' failures, having to grow up. It is a coming of age story for all three: mother, father, and son. While it is about struggle and heartbreak and disillusionment, it is a film guided by love. Now that it is time for me to share this film, I can see that – like our protagonist Joe – I made a family portrait as a means of acceptance, and of letting go." (Paul Dano)
Born in 1984 in New York. At age 12, Dano was noted for roles in classical plays on Broadway, landing his first major film role in L.I.E. (2001). He has built up an illustrious acting career with movies Little Miss Sunshine (2006), There Will Be Blood (2007) and Prisoners (2013). Wildlife marks his directorial debut.