Leave No Trace (USA)
Show times: 6:30 & 8:30 pm
Director: Debra Granik
Cast: Ben Foster, Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Dale Dickey
Running Time: 109 minutes
Independent Film Festival of Boston: Best Narrative Feature; Taormina International Film Festival: Best Screenplay
“Debra Granik’s drama about a damaged war vet (Ben Foster) living off the grid with his teen daughter, brilliantly played by breakout star Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, is hypnotic, haunting and one of the year’s best.”—Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Following her breakout hit Winter’s Bone, Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace is an intimate and complex coming-of-age story following a father and daughter struggling to maintain their unconventional lifestyle, set against the rugged terrain of the Pacific Northwest.
Will (Ben Foster, Hell or High Water, The Messenger) is a PTSD-inflicted veteran and widower living off the grid with his daughter, Tom (Thomasin Harcourt 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, the family is removed from the park and placed in a home by state officials. Immersed in a world she has never experienced, Tom is drawn to the friendships, community, and comforts of her new surroundings. Meanwhile, Will is confronted with the triggers of the modern world.
Leave No Trace is a surprisingly endearing portrait of a father and daughter forced to contemplate whether family survival means sticking together or letting go. The lush Oregon landscape expertly contrasts the tension-filled narrative, with Foster delivering one of his most memorable performances to date — though it’s McKenzie who truly makes her mark. From the director who launched Jennifer Lawrence’s career, Leave No Trace is sure to make McKenzie a newcomer to watch.