True Wolf


Sure to be denounced as pro-wolf propaganda, Rob Whitehair’s profile of Montanan fosterers-cum-educators Bruce Weide and Pat Tucker clearly sides with the sort of people who have to deal with the sort of people who denounce pro-wolf propaganda. Rarely is it advisable to adopt any wild animal, let alone one that has been likened to Satan, Saddam Hussein, and the British government of 1773, but Weide, also credited as a producer and co-writer, recognized his lupine lodger as “an absolute symbol of wildness” and took his responsibility to include some public-image adjustment. It so happens that recent wolf-intensive films have left room for his and Whitehair’s findings; neither a fist-raising cameo in Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox nor a fistfighting Liam Neeson in Joe Carnahan’s The Grey quite gets across the true nature of this beast. Helpful, then, to have an actual wolf on hand for most of True Wolf, and though the wickedest thing it does is not budge from and then eat Weide and Tucker’s couch, well, you’d hate to be that couch. “Wolves are hugely social animals,” Tucker says. “But just because they’re social doesn’t mean they’re nice.” Got it: No cuddling. Spongy with equanimity and stronger on introspection than exposition, the movie amounts to a crude assembly of sincere testimony, somehow too long at 76 minutes and maybe actually a job for Werner Herzog instead. Jonathan Kiefer

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