As far as unconventional love stories go, how high does the classic 'a boy who thinks he's a wolf falls in love with a girl who thinks she's a wildcat' rank? In a world that's given us a giant monkey/human romance, Joaquin Phoenix falling in love with an operating system, Lars and his not-so-real girl, or hell, even Jean Dujardin's infatuation with a deerskin jacket ("Killer style!"), we'd still say that's pretty odd.
Nocturnal's Nathalie Biancheri directs George MacKay and Lily-Rose Depp in Wolf, a story about a boy, Jacob (MacKay) who believes that he’s a wolf trapped in a human body, who acts, eats, lives as a wild wolf would – much to his family's distress. Based on a real illness called species dysphoria (referred to as 'species identity disorder' in the film), Wolf is set in a specialist clinic "the zoo", which treats people with this condition. The "zookeeper" (Paddy Considine), a therapist in charge of the programme, uses extreme “curative” therapies. As a result, "Jacob’s will is tested as his true nature battles to surface amid the chaos while maintaining his mythological status among the animals that surround him."
Depp's voice gently narrates the trailer as though she were reading a bedtime story: "Once there was a place in the woods, where they sent people who didn't fit into the real world." We see a cork board with patients' headshots lined up next to a photo of the animal they believe themselves to be, displaying everything from a panda, duck or horse, to a small spider. "They say the wolf and the wildcat are natural enemies," Depp continues. "But they're wrong." Blending a thriller feel with arthouse aesthetics, Biancheri's latest feature promises a tense psychological drama with great performances.
The film premiered at Toronto Film Festival, and is due for theatrical release in the US from December 3rd. No word yet on when it might release in the UK, though it is planned for international distribution by Universal.
Watch the trailer for Wolf below: