Wakefield

[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

One of Mrs. Salad's Netflix picks. I did not fall asleep while watching it, which these days counts as moderate praise.

Bryan Cranston plays Howard Wakefield, a New York lawyer. He's married to Jennifer Garner (woo!), has two nice twin daughters, a big house in some unspecified suburb, and is kind of a shithead. One day a power failure makes his commute home a nightmare. This (for some reason) tips his vague feelings of dissatisfaction into action. He refuses his wife's incoming calls, and when he finally gets home, he clambers up into the storage space over his garage and spies on his house through a grimy window.

Stupid joke, or something more? Something more. Flashbacks, fantasized scenes, and voice-overs give us a more complete picture. (But that more complete picture just fleshes out the fact that Howard is a demented shithead.) The logistics of living undetected 30 feet away from your family are hinted at; Mrs. Salad pointed out every violation of food safety guidelines. (Readers, do not, under any circumstances, eat a foil-wrapped baked potato that's been allowed to cool off.)

Not bad, but kind of pretentious. Based on a New Yorker story by E. L. Doctorow, which (in turn) was based on a Nathaniel Hawthorne short story. Which you can read here if desired.