July 22nd, 2018 / posted by paularath

Left: Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, with Ben Foster Photo: Scott Green/Bleecker Street

Summer is generally a pretty bleak time, movie-wise. The screens are over populated with super heroes, violence, ridiculous creatures and screeching cars, planes, motorcycles and voices.

But right now, in the midst of this movie morass, there is a quiet little film that stole my heart: “Leave No Trace, the lyrical indie film by writer/director Debra Granik, who won an Academy Award for “Winter’s Bone.

I can’t think of a more chaotic time for our nation than the summer of 2018. Of course I remember the summer of 1968, but that was a very different kind of chaos, sparked by passion and commitment. So it is with gratitude and joy that I spent a few hours in the magical Pacific Northwest forest of “Leave No Trace”with two people I came to care about immediately. The world which this loving father and daughter inhabit seems to make so much sense right now. Their forest is serene and tranquil. It’s a picture of peace and I wanted to be there with them.

Of course, it makes all the difference that the lead actors are absolutely superb. The father, Will, is played by Ben Foster and the daughter, Tom, is the transcendent Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie.

Granik’s “Winter Bone” was a breakout film for Jennifer Lawrence. I think – and hope – that “Leave No Trace” will be a breakout film for Thomasin.

Give yourself a break from the insanity we are forced to endure and go see this movie. You’ll be leaving Washington, DC, far behind you. It’s playing at the Consolidated Kahala Theatre.

-Paula Rath


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