The Lionsgate separate February 9, 2021 DVD and Blu-ray releases of the 2020 drama "Wander Darkly" successfully tackles the issues of taking a relationship to the next level and the next stage of existence after we die. The icing on this 2020 Sundance existential cake is an award-worthy performance by Sienna Miller as woman in limbo Adrienne. Awesome character actress Beth Grant shines equally brightly in her role as Adrienne's maternal mother-in-law, who shows great restraint in straddling the line between supportive parent and monster-in-law.
The voice of experience requires strongly suggesting watching "Wander" twice. Seeing the truly surprising climax makes a second viewing far different due to knowing what you did not know the first time.
The following trailer perfectly illustrates the BD-worthy cinematography in this film that proves that writer/director Tara Miele is a genuine double threat.
Our story commences with highly relatable scenes of Adrienne and long-time companion Matteo well beyond the honeymoon stage of their relationship, A minor spoiler is that buying a house and having a baby does not lead to a happily ever after American dream. An aspect of this is that laid-back woodworker Matteo does not seem to be as good of a catch now that Adrienne is heavily relied on to bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. This working mom also must never let Matteo forget that he is a man.
The night in question commences with the couple arguing ahead of going to a party. That gathering stirs up the pot in a manner that leads to an argument on the way home. That leads to the central event that drives (no pun intended) the central drama and trauma.
A series of the most surreal scenes in this highly atmospheric film leads to Adrienne and Matteo back at home. The difference this time is that Adrienne is convinced that she is dead despite the evidence to the contrary; Matteo tries very hard to be compassionate and to provide the voice of reason.
This leads to Ghost of Christmas Past style visits to significant events in the relationship of the couple. The armchair quarterbacking as to these replays discuss what went right and what did not work out so well.
Additional angst relates to maternal concern as to who will raise the baby.
As mentioned above, the final reveal shows that Miele has saved the best for last. The events of the prior 90 minutes still make sense; the twist is that the two forms of enlightenment are not what the audience expects.
The big picture shows that the art of making movies that do not rely on matinee idols, huge CGI budgets, and/or shock-and-awe is not entirely dead, The audio commentary by Miele presumably reinforces that.