Wakefield Bryan Cranston

What would your life be like without you?

Based on a short story by Ragtime author EL Doctorow, writer-director Robin Swicord’s odd, fable-like drama Wakefield stars Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston as a well-heeled suburban commuter who suddenly snaps.

One night, instead of returning to his lissome wife (Jennifer Garner) and their twin adolescent daughters, he hides out in the attic of his carriage house garage and begins spying on his abandoned family. As his distraught kin rebuild their lives over the coming months, he raids local garbage bins for supplies and keeps up his sour surveillance.

Yet his suburban castaway comes across as such a creep that it takes all of Cranston’s thespian wiles to keep us engaged. Even so, we never find ourselves sympathising with him or fathom what caused his crack-up. ‘I left myself’, he tells himself, his sanity wavering. Not them. But as he swings between self-pity and cynicism, the nagging thought remains. His nearest and not-so dearest are well shot of him.

Certificate 15. Running time 104 mins. Director Robin Swicord

Wakefield debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on 27 January. Available on Blu-ay, DVD & Digital from Signature Entertainment.