Leave No Trace trailer

It’s been eight years since Debra Granik introduced most of the world to a talented up-and-coming actress named Jennifer Lawrence in her 2010 drama Winter’s Bone. Now the filmmaker is finally back with her next directorial effort. Leave No Trace is a survival drama that stars Ben Foster and newcomer Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, and it looks like a worthy follow-up to Winter’s Bone.

Leave No Trace Trailer

Where has Granik been lately? In addition to launching Lawrence’s career, Winter’s Bone was nominated for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2011 Academy Awards, so you’d think we’d have seen something from her by now. She made a documentary in 2014, but it turns out she’s also been working on a lot of projects that didn’t pan out: she wrote a treatment for Pippi Longstocking movie, was going to make a show for HBO called American High Life, and was lined up to write and direct an adaptation of Rule of the Bone, none of which ever happened.

But it looks like Leave No Trace may have been worth the wait. We’ve seen a lot of movies about unconventional families living out in the woods lately – Mr. Fantastic, The Glass Castle, even Hunt for the Wilderpeople to a lesser degree – and Granik’s movie seems like it’s interested in grappling with the effects of being yanked out of an environment and forced to live in a way that seems unnatural to you. Considering the horrific notion of families being ripped apart because of policies from our current presidential administration, this seems like it has a timely thematic undercurrent.

/Film contributor Steven Prokopy saw this film at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and reviewed it for us, calling it a “fresh reminder” of Granik’s considerable talent as a storyteller:

Based on a novel by Peter Rock (and adapted by Granik and Anne Rossellini), Leave No Trace certainly fits squarely in Granik’s wheelhouse as a filmmaker, allowing us the opportunity to live among characters we rarely see portrayed on screen and settle into their way of life long enough to truly consider what that lifestyle might feel like. Working with her regular cinematographer Michael McDonough, Granik takes us into places where light and shadow work differently and there’s a lush quality to their forest settings that certainly make it seem more lovely and homey than another other location in the film.

Here’s the film’s official synopsis:

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, Will and Tom set off on a harrowing journey back to their wild homeland.

Leave No Trace opens in limited theaters on June 29, 2018.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: