"Leave No Trace" opens up with scenes of a Father and Daughter in a forest. Sleeping in a tent. Cooking mushrooms they found there. Making fire. They're camping right? Of course if you've seen the trailer or have read up on it, then you know that's not exactly the case. These extended generally quaint scenes sets the tone and pacing for the rest of the film. A bit meditative. A bit contemplative. A bit like a slice of life. It's definitely not a movie that moves fast, but there are still some small bits of excitement in rare moments.
Based on the novel "My Abandonment" by Peter Rock, this movie asks you to think and consider what you are seeing take place in this story. This is the idea of non-conforming Americans, living life like the old "primitive" days, without over-reaching rules, and without the comforts plus conveniences of modern times. As it goes, that way of life can't completely escape the grasp of our current civilization. The situation gets complicated when it catches up to our main protagonists. Of course that only leads to the movie presenting us with even more things to consider and think about.
Ben Foster continues to prove to us as to why he is one of the best actors we have today. As Will, Ben Foster gives us Father who really loves his Daughter, but is stubbornly set in his mind to how they should live their lives. Agree or disagree with his decisions in this movie, but this story doesn't make it easy on you to properly judge him for his actions.
Thomasin McKenzie as the Daughter of Will; "Tom," is the break out role to watch here. Tom is absolutely the main character we are suppose to feel the most connected with, because a lot of the events are seen through her perspective. As a Daughter who really loves her Father, and as a young lady who has to experience both sides of their situation, we get to see her put in difficult positions of how she should live her life. McKenzie is amazing in the role, and performs some powerful scenes in this movie, as well as have great chemistry with Ben Foster.
While the subject matter of "Leave No Trace" is fascinating to me, it's honestly not for everybody's taste. Director Debra Granik does a fantastic job telling us this story, but it does require a bit of patience and understanding to watch through the whole thing. I encourage everybody to check it out, but if you feel like it's not for you, then I acknowledge you not conforming with my recommendation.
lovedit ENJOYED IT likedititsokayitsmehitsterrible