For years Will and his teenage daughter, Tom, have lived off the grid, blissfully undetected by authorities in a vast nature reserve on the edge of Portland, Oregon. When a chance encounter blows their cover, they’re removed from their camp and put into the charge of social services. Struggling to adapt to their new surroundings, Will and Tom set off on a perilous journey back to the wilderness, where they are finally forced to confront conflicting desires—a longing for community versus a fierce need to live apart.
With Leave No Trace, Debra Granik proves once again that she is an extraordinary filmmaker and a beacon for actors. Ben Foster is exceptional as Will, and with Tom, Granik again displays her singular knack for finding a relatively unknown actress and entrusting her with the role of a lifetime. Granik did it with Winter’s Bone (her 2010 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner), which starred a then-unknown Jennifer Lawrence. The similarly dazzling newcomer Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie is radiant as Tom, a girl coming of age in atypical circumstances.
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