‘The True Adventures of Wolfboy’ Review: Tim Burton Meets Fellini in Surreal Coming-of-Age Drama

‘The True Adventures of Wolfboy’ Review: Tim Burton Meets Fellini in Surreal Coming-of-Age Drama
Director Martin Krejcí’s first feature has the fairy-tale surrealism and penchant for oddball outsiders that distinguished Burton’s work, as well as a similar lighthearted quirkiness that balances the undercurrents of gothic dread. Above all, “Wolfboy” suggests “Scissorhands” for the way it grounds an outlandish figure in credible emotional stakes, making the case for a sincere coming-of-age drama along the way.

The “Wolfboy” in question is Paul (a sullen Jaeden Martell), a reclusive 13-year-old who suffers from a condition that causes fur to cover every inch of his face, for mysterious reasons only revealed in the closing act. The movie, written by trans playwright Olivia Dufault, immediately opens itself to complex readings about the nature of an adolescent coming to terms with his true identity: Sulking through a traveling carnival on his birthday, with his encouraging single father (Chris Messina) by his side, Paul refuses to take his mask off — and when he does,
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