Relationship Woes: Highs & Lows, Captured Beautifully By An All Female Crew

Tara Miele’s Euphoric Ugly-Cry Inducing Cerebral Picture, “Wander Darkly” Film Review

Happy couple, Diego Luna & Sienna Miller enjoy a boat ride in Mexico.
Photo credit: Carolina Costa

A cerebral masterpiece, described by one critic as “like a poem”, “Wander Darkly” emotes all the feelings. Starring a magnetic Sienna Miller and my longtime favorite, Diego Luna, the film truly was one of the best and most thoughtful I’d seen in awhile. I was invited to watch the film + Q&A by female and non-binary fellow film enthusiasts, CherryPicks. I really appreciate being a part of such a sharing community. Films are always best when shared. Whether that be as simple as sharing a link, the title, or the actual feature with another person, there’s something really special about it. I recommend tuning into CherryPicks if it sounds like your kinda jam.

The idea came to Writer & Director, Tara Miele, after surviving a serious car crash along with her husband. The crash brought a wave of gratitude her way and along with a desire to create a film showcasing the highs and lows of relationships, “Wander Darkly” came to fruition. I appreciate such a different take on relationship woes the film offers. Often we see the usual boredom, infidelity, and boiling point arguments films refer to to help drive the narrative. While the film certainly pulls from some of these themes, it does a stunning job of keeping the focus on the actual trauma and what happens next. We don’t often think about a relationship potentially crumbling after a serious car wreck — if we do, maybe their child has died (morose, I know but I’m making a point). The unusual circumstances drive the film and glue it’s viewers to the screen — there’s an everlasting longing to know what happens next. It feels everlasting anyway — of course the film ends eventually and all the cards are shown. I promise your jaw will hit the floor and if you’re like me, you’ll probably ugly cry because it’s that good.

Diego Luna holds Sienna Miller’s face in his hands, comfort.
Photo credit: Carolina Costa

This small budget, entirely woman-crewed film tells the story of a couple and the struggle that ensues after facing trauma. Sienna Miller’s character, Adrienne, can’t quite tell reality from fiction after the car crash and it begins to weigh heavy on her role, not only a girlfriend and mother, but as a human being. Her partner, Matteo (forever handsome, Diego Luna), helps her piece things back together by taking a trip back in time to before things started getting murky in their relationship — the wreck being the figurative ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’. The way Tara Miele weaves in past memories into present sadness is absolutely stunning. The camerawork alone deserves an Oscar in my humble opinion. One thing about these cerebral, very emotional films with tricky camerawork is that things can get confusing for the viewers sometimes. This confusion takes away from the film entirely and you’re stuck trying to figure out what’s happening as opposed to enjoying the picture. “Wander Darkly” doesn’t have that problem. It’s easy to follow along and the story comes together beautifully with a heartbreakingly somber ending.

I really can’t say much more without revealing some key elements and I would honestly prefer you seek this stunning film out to watch yourself (looks like if you have an Amazon Prime Video subscription, you’re in luck). I haven’t been able to get this film off of my mind, even having viewed it more than a month ago or so. It’s that good and of course, as usual, I watch a Diego Luna film and am reminded again why I think he would make a great husband for me (shhh, don’t you dare say it — or think it!). As always, let me know what you think if you do end up checking it out! Thanks for reading, your support is so appreciated.

Sienna Miller and Diego Luna look at one another with intensity on a freeway overpass.
Photo credit: Carolina Costa

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Aliya Nicole Al-Balooshi

Aliya Nicole Al-Balooshi

Bahraini/Baloch Audience & Revenue Strategist II, Community a la Camber Creative + independent film fan with a casual writing style & a pocket full of thoughts.