Leave No Trace – ***1/2 OUT OF 4
Leave No Trace is the fourth feature film from Debra Granik, a modern feminist, who previously made the award-winning Winter’s Bone, (2010), Down to the Bone (2004) and a feature -length documentary named Stray Dog (2014). She crafts her work in what is referred to as “slow-film.” If there is a weakness to the film it is the methodical pacing.
Based on a novel by Peter Rock titled “My Abandonment “and fueled by actual events, the under $5 million pic is about a father and daughter who live way off the grid. The father is Will (Ben Foster) a veteran suffering with PTSD and his daughter, Tom, played pitch perfect by a young New Zealand born actress (who should have a long career ahead of her) whose name is Thomasin McKenzie. They live in the eight square mile Forest Park in the mountains west of Portland, Oregon. Adapted for the screen by Granik and her partner Anne Rosellini this film is an emotional powerhouse and one of the year’s most satisfying filmic experiences. The acting is truly remarkable!