Sienna Miller’s Haunting Romance

Director Tara Miele has crafted a captivating, darkly romantic thriller in the ambitious Wander Darkly. Sienna Miller pairs with Diego Luna as a couple enduring a surreal and occasionally frightening journey that revisits their past, unraveling haunting truths about their relationship. Miele’s fever dream-like screenplay is an artistic triumph with poignant storytelling.

Adrienne (Sienna Miller) and Matteo (Diego Luna) have just had a child together and their relationship is already showing cracks from the stress. Taking a night off from the baby, the couple are out when they suffer a horrible car accident. Confused and disoriented, Adrienne awakens thinking she has died in the crash and left Matteo alone to take care of their baby daughter. Returning home, Adrienne finds out that she can still interact with Matteo.

Tara Miele has crafted a captivating, darkly romantic thriller in the ambitious Wander Darkly

It’s at this point the well-made drama becomes a harrowing journey for Adrienne and Matteo, rummaging through bitter and happy episodes in their relationship. Told from a surreal and haunting perspective that makes the audience question everything, Miele plays it close to the vest with what’s actually happening between the lovers. There are a couple obvious movies that likely inspired Miele’s premise but Wander Darkly doesn’t work nearly as well if you know them beforehand. It’s best avoiding any spoilers before watching.

Wander Darkly takes you on a moving emotional journey through the ups and downs of two people in love. The themes are fairly dark and pack a punch, especially the surprising plot twists. Told from Adrienne’s fractured perspective, jumping forward and backward in time, Wander Darkly captures the couple’s relationship with more insight and feeling than most straightforward romances.

Sienna Miller and Diego Luna share an honest chemistry which helps ground the fantastical premise. Luna probably works out better in the role than a typical male lead in most romantic movies. Matteo’s Mexican background adds texture and character depth that makes sense for the L.A. setting.

Both written and directed by Tara Miele, Wander Darkly is hopefully the first of many films from the talented filmmaker. She puts her stamp on this exotic romantic drama with style and artistry.

Video

Lionsgate provides a handsome and occasionally striking 1.85:1 presentation on Blu-ray. Wander Darkly runs 97 minutes on a BD-50, encoded in efficient AVC without a hitch. The neutral color balance and even flesh-tones look best in exterior settings, especially the beautiful ocean scenes. The 1080P video has excellent clarity and definition, revealing razor-sharp details in close-ups.

The digital production has a nice, finished cinematography with elegant lighting and top-notch production values. It’s not quite eye candy by videophile standards but provides decent dimensionality. Wander Darkly’s visuals touch the surreal when necessary, affecting picture quality just a bit. Black levels hold up nicely in darker interiors, though shadow delineation is slightly diminished.

Audio

The 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio makes an excellent companion for Wander Darkly’s moody atmosphere and romantic yearnings. The lush, melodramatic score is wonderfully spread over the soundstage for pleasant results.

Adrienne’s more confused moments provide strong elements, swirling around the listener with repeated and effective ambient cues. This is an enjoyable surround mix that perfectly fits each scene’s mood and tone.

Optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles play in a white font.

Extras

A neat slipcover with interesting cover art is available. The included digital copy redeems in HDX quality on your choice of iTunes, VUDU or FandangoNow.

Audio Commentary With Writer-Director Tara Miele – A thoughtful, insightful commentary that delves into the film’s deeper messages.

“Narrative Therapy: Remembering Wander Darkly” Featurette (15:45 in HD) – Director Tara Miele discusses the traumatic memory that first gave her the idea for this movie. Other cast and crew discuss their views on the movie.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Wander Darkly
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
4

Movie

A haunting, surreal romantic thriller with star Sienna Miller that succeeds with complex storytelling.

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5 (1 vote)

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