Leave No Trace
February 25, 2019
Showings 4:30, 7:00 and 9:10pm
USA | Rated: N/A | Drama | 109 minutes
Debra Granik’s first fiction feature since her 2010 breakout hit Winter’s Bone, Leave No Trace tells the intimate and complex coming-of-age story of a father and daughter struggling to maintain their unconventional lifestyle in the rugged countryside of the US Pacific Northwest.
Will (Ben Foster, Hell or High Water, Kill Your Darlings) is a PTSD-afflicted army veteran and widower living off the grid with his daughter, Tom (Thomasin McKenzie, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies), in a public park near Portland. When Tom makes a mistake that alerts the authorities to their existence, she and Will are removed by social services and placed in a home on a tree farm. Experiencing the modern world for the first time, Tom is drawn to the comforts, friendships, and sense of community that come with her new surroundings. Meanwhile, Will feels constrained and psychologically triggered by society.
Leave No Trace is a surprisingly endearing portrait of a father and daughter forced to contemplate whether their personal survival means sticking together or letting go. Granik expertly uses the lush, idyllic Oregon landscape to contrast with the tension-filled narrative. Foster delivers one of his most memorable performances to date — though it’s his young co-star who truly makes her mark here. Coming from the director who launched Jennifer Lawrence’s career, Leave No Trace is sure to make McKenzie a newcomer to watch.
“Once again, Granik introduces us to a kind of family that cinema rarely captures believably, and she does so with a style that’s both lyrical and realistic at the same time, anchored by a pair of unforgettable performances.” —Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com