From his vantage point on the second floor of the backhouse, Howard spies on his family through a many-mullioned round window that appropriately resembles an eye. Imagine Rear Window, but instead of deconstructing a murder, Wakefield is deconstructing a marriage. The film is almost entirely set in this backhouse, like a one-man show driven by Cranston's surprisingly subtle performance. Occasional flashbacks zip us into Howard and Diane's turbulent relationship, revealing to the audience -- though not to Howard -- that it's he who has been in the wrong all these years. Through voiceover, Howard muses about what he thinks his wife is saying or doing, accenting his imitations of Diana's voice with an annoying up-pitch. His assumptions are cold and ridiculous: She must be flirting with that handsome, younger guy at the search-party get-together!
Swicord turns what could be a dark or one-note premise into a sometimes-charming, sometimes-heartbreaking meditation on a man's loss of self after having set out to conquer the job, wife, house and kids he thought would make him happy.