Leave No Trace
Will (Ben Foster) and his teenage daughter, Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), have lived off the grid for years in the forests of Portland, Oregon. When their idyllic life is shattered, both are put into social services. After clashing with their new surroundings how will they react.
The film is directed by Debra Granik from a script adapted by Granik and Anne Rosellini and based on the novel My Abandonment. Debra Granik won tremendous acclaim for writing and directing Winter's Bone which was set in the Ozarks and featured a breakthrough performance for Jennifer Lawrence. Will the same thing happen here for Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie?
Los Angeles Times/Kenneth Turan
Fiercely involving in a way we're not used to, made with sensitivity and honesty by director/co-writer Debra Granik, it tells its emotional story of a father and daughter living dangerously off the grid in a way that is unnerving and uncompromising yet completely satisfying.
New York Times/Manohla Dargis
In its best moments, Leave No Trace invites you to simply be with its characters, to see and experience the world as they do. Empathy, the movie reminds you, is something that is too little asked of you either in life or in art. Both Mr. Foster’s and Ms. Harcourt McKenzie’s sensitive, tightly checked performances are critical in this regard.
The Guardian/Peter Bradshaw
It’s a movie that will live with me for a long time.
Leave No Trace is the story of a bond between a teenage daughter and her veteran father, but in the background is another kind of bond, something that keeps the world from spinning apart. That’s Granik’s subject, and Leave No Trace explores it simply but unforgettably.
There’s no such thing as perfect love in families; often it’s the fine threads of tension that actually hold things together. Granik’s "Winter’s Bone" was greatly admired for the way it presented “ordinary people” of the Ozarks. But Leave No Trace is better.
Leave No Trace is one of the most moving motion pictures thus far of 2018 and it achieves its power without resorting to the overt manipulation favored by many movies.