(hoopla/kanopy/Prime/VOD/Vudu) Paul (Jaeden Martell, IT (2017), THE LODGE) is a thirteen-year-old boy with Hypertrichosis (also known as ‘Werewolf Syndrome’), whose body is fully covered with hair. He’s grown up without his mother and feels ostracized and misunderstood by all — even his loving but somewhat misguided father (Chris Messina, SHARP OBJECTS, BIRDS OF PREY) — so, when he gets a birthday present from his mom, marking a spot in Philadelphia and promising answers, he takes off in search of her.
What follows is a misfit coming-of-age story as Paul encounters all sorts of threats and oddball friends along the way, many of whom mirror those Odysseus met during his adventure, including Sophie Giannamore (TRANSPARENT) as a singer who loves water, executive producer John Turturro as a predatory carnival owner — Turturro should really play more villains — and Eve Hewson (TESLA, previously recommended) as an energetic eye-patched punk who loves to steal.
WOLFBOY’s penned by Olivia Dufault (a playwright who has also written for LEGION and PREACHER — the very definition of an epic misfit adventure) and while the unique folks Paul meets along the way are the focal point of the film, she inserts whimsical elements while keeping them grounded in the real-world. First-time feature director Martin Krejcí manages to instill artistic wonder and scale into traditionally humdrum urban locations. A soundtrack featuring the delightfully melancholy DeVotchKa and Timber Timbre also imbue WOLFBOY with swoony charm.
In my opinion the trailer shows too much but, with this film, it’s about the journey.