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Wakefield: Running Away (But Not Too Far) From Home 

Now playing at The Flicks

When author E.L. Doctorow first penned "Wakefield" for The New Yorker in 2008, his fictional story about a man who runs away from home but doesn't get any farther than his garage was quirky and inventive. Sadly, a new film adaptation is about as flat as the paper the Doctorow short story was first written on. To his credit, the always watchable Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, All The Way) does his darnedest up on the big screen as titular New York City lawyer Howard Wakefield. Following Wakefield's oddball encounter with a raccoon outside his home, the upper-class suburbanite starts puttering around in his detached garage. His puttering becomes permanent as he retreats to the attic of the garage, dons a pair of binoculars and keeps an eye on his home from the outside in. Before long, he also becomes a peeping Howard, voyeuristically watching his wife and children. Summer becomes fall, which turns to winter, which becomes... tedious. What could have been a clever 21st century take on the Rip Van Winkle male flight fantasy, is instead woefully unsatisfying.

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