Wakefield | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


A great performance from Bryan Cranston anchors this drama about a man’s breakdown


Coming home late from his lawyer job in the city, Howard Wakefield — married, father to twin teen girls — impulsively decides to spend the night in the storage room above the garage of his suburban home. Then, Howard (Bryan Cranston) opts to stay there, without communicating his presence to anyone. He watches through the window as his family freaks out over his absence, and then, as the days roll by, how they go on without him. Despite having no mod cons, Howard revels in his newfound freedom, enjoying the primal nature of having to scavenge for survival. Beyond a few flashbacks, Wakefield is a one-man vehicle for Cranston, who is fantastic, cycling through the variety of emotions that comprise Howard’s breakdown and disappearance from his own life. His work holds Robin Swicord’s film together, though it’s hard to shake the nagging thought that the world may not need another exploration of a privileged white middle-aged male in crisis. 

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