Robin Swicord (2016)

15 Certificate
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Our Score
What if a dutiful husband and father of twin girls chose not to return home one evening, and found he preferred his new life? That's the question posed by this modern-day parable, in which Bryan Cranston brings brittle geniality - and a hint of ordinary madness - to suburban New York lawyer Howard Wakefield. After a chance altercation with a raccoon, he ends up sleeping above his own garage, prompting his perfect-seeming wife (Jennifer Garner) to report him as a missing person. Seasons change while Howard remains undetected in the loft, scavenging food, defecating into a bucket and spying on his old life. Adapted almost word-for-word from a New Yorker short story by EL Doctorow, Wakefield is a steady second film from screenwriter Robin Swicord, who wrote The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Memoirs of a Geisha, and directed 2007 drama The Jane Austen Book Club. It's prosaically told in first-person narration, with flashbacks for backstory that allow Garner to shine. If Howard is simply having a nervous breakdown, he inflates it into a cosmic reawakening, discovering he loves his wife more profoundly from a distance ("What is there about a family that is so sacrosanct?"). It's thought-provoking but easier to buy into on the page than on screen, with Wakefield himself coming across as borderline creepy.


A successful suburban family man apparently vanishes one day, and proceeds to secretly observe his wife and children from their garage attic. Drama, starring Bryan Cranston, Jennifer Garner and Beverly D'Angelo.

Cast & Crew

Howard Wakefield Bryan Cranston
Diana Wakefield Jennifer Garner
Babs Beverly D'Angelo
Ben Jacobs Ian Anthony Dale
Dirk Morrison Jason O'Mara
Herbert Isaac Leyva
Taylor Victoria Bruno
Giselle Ellery Sprayberry
Homeless Man Tracey Walter
Dr Sondervan Alexander Zale
Director Robin Swicord
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: SwearingAvailable on: DVD