Sienna Miller and Diego Luna are at the top of their games in the relationship drama, Wander Darkly. Unfortunately for both, the story isn’t cohesive enough to make attempting to put together the puzzle pieces of their characters’ lives worth the effort.
Miller and Luna play Adrienne and Matteo, a couple who’ve recently welcomed the arrival of their first child. It’s apparent their relationship’s on rocky ground and that they believed the baby would be the spark that resurrected the flame. Caring for a child might remind them of what drew them to each other in the first place.
Working against the resurrection of their former closeness is the possibility one or both are being unfaithful. Infidelity – real or imagined – seems to be an ever-present elephant in the room pulling the unmarried couple apart. The tension’s palpable as they head home from a party and while arguing they’re suddenly involved in a devastating head-on collision.
For the remainder of the film the story wanders through their relationship in a non-linear fashion, dropping tidbits about their shared history intended to fill in the blanks. As we’re fed these pieces of their backstory, we’re also expected to suss out who’s alive, who’s dead, and what to accept as factual about Adrienne and Matteo prior to the accident.
While there are the occasional flashes of clever storytelling, for the most part the emotional connection is just not there. It’s difficult to care about the ultimate outcome when the investment in this couple goes no deeper than surface level.
Writer/director Tara Miele’s Wander Darkly’s final act doesn’t deliver the emotional punch needed to justify the frustrating journey leading up to it. Sienna Miller and Diego Luna’s terrific performances aside, Wander Darkly’s frustrating, confusing story requires too much work from the audience for too little payoff.
MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content/nudity
Release Date: December 11, 2020
Running Time: 97 minutes