Leave No Trace (2018)

Debra Granik directs Thomasin McKenzie, Ben Foster and Dale Dickey in this drama where a veteran father and his precocious daughter try to stay off the grid and live in the wilds.

A great film. Exploring the transient lives and lines between homelessness and survivalism, authenticity and conforming, care and nurture. Foster’s troubled but loving father just wants to live and raise his daughter on his own terms. Thomasin McKenzie is excellent as the young woman who wants to tentatively connect with society, and sees the growing risks in completely abandoning the safety of community and shelter. It is a film with no easy answers. Granik essays the growing dangers of evading the authorities and modern comforts. She also completely sells the love between the father and daughter – their early reunion after being separated for a few days by social services is underplayed yet heartwrenching. Underplayed yet heart wrenching pretty much sums up this beautiful movie.


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