May 22, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Review: Leave No Trace Leaves Lasting Impression

By Nick Boyd

“Leave No Trace” (based on the book “My Abandonment” by Peter Rock), which stars Ben Foster as Will and newcomer Thomasin McKenzie as Tom, is a meticulously crafted and compassionate look at hardship and nonconformity.  Will and Tom are father and daughter who have been living a survivalist existence in the woods in the Pacific Northwest for as long as Tom can remember.  Their relationship is tender and poignant.

Upon being discovered, the two are shown in the film attempting to re-adjust to society.  After being taken in by social services, Will and Tom are questioned about their living styles and given tests – Will to asses his emotional well-being and Tom to see where she measures up academically compared to her peers.  A kind farmer allows them to live in his guest house, provided that Will helps him out with tree cutting.  Tom seems to like this new environment, and it gives her a taste of life outside of the woods.  She even meets an adolescent male who introduces her to a local 4-H club, where she gets experience tending to a rabbit.  Will, meanwhile, seems constricted and conflicted, as we see him put a TV in the closet.  When he is faced with enrolling Tom in school, he sees that as their opportunity to pack up their things and move back to the woods.


They then hit the road, back to their nomadic life, with no sure destination in mind, as long as it is in the wilderness.  This poses its share of risks, as they find themselves hitchhiking and walking through Washington State woods in cold weather.  After a while, Tom expresses that she yearns for some of the comforts of a home, an existence Will finds confining and restrictive.  This is made even more apparent when the two of them find a community of sorts in the woods where they feel a sense of belonging with the people who live there, especially Tom.

The performances feel natural and the movie unfolds in what feels like a real-life way.  The film is able to reveal a great deal with its silences and stillness.  McKenzie gives a remarkable performance that is completely without any child actor mannerisms.  The cinematography is breathtaking, yet at the same time underscores the harshness of the environment that father and daughter find themselves in.  “Leave No Trace” joins a growing list of worthwhile movies that depict characters who find themselves living on the margins and/or who go on personal journeys of self-discovery – “Wild,” “Captain Fantastic,” and “Lean on Pete.”  “Leave No Trace” does leave an indelible trace on the viewer.

Related Posts

Film Review: The Northman

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

FILM REVIEWTHE NORTHMANRated R137 MinutesReleased April 22nd If the Vikings of 800-1000 AD had the technology, The Northman is the...

Murray Mednick’s “Three Tables”- Existentialism Meets Theatre of the Absurd

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

Murray Mednick’s THREE TABLES is the newest work from the famous poet/playwright who spearheaded New York’s off-off-Broadway movement in the...

Film Review: “The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent”

April 27, 2022

April 27, 2022

FILM REVIEWTHE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENTRated R107 MinutesReleased April 22nd Watching The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, I got...

Santa Monica Auctions Showcasing World Class Fine Art at Bergamot Station Auction event.

April 22, 2022

April 22, 2022

Santa Monica Auctions is hosting its bi-annual live outdoor art auction on May 15th at Bergamot Station Arts Center. See...

Help Recruiting for Good Give Back and Join the Fun at the Sweetest Earth Day Parties Ever

April 20, 2022

April 20, 2022

By Susan Payne  Earth Day is around the corner.  For Carlos Cymerman, founder of Recruiting for Good, that means the...

Santa Monica Bead & Design Show Returns to the Fairmont Miramar!

April 13, 2022

April 13, 2022

The Santa Monica Bead & Design Show will showcase a fine selection of handcraft and artisan supplies at the Fairmont...

Santa Monica to Host Venice Family Clinic’s Art Walk & Auction Gallery

April 1, 2022

April 1, 2022

43rd annual Venice Family Clinic Art Walk & Auction re-emerges with an art gallery and NFT auction April 15 –...

Honoring Women’s History Month With ‘Yarn Bomb’ Art Exhibit at Village Green

March 23, 2022

March 23, 2022

Local Palisadian Michelle Villemaire creates the sixth annual ‘Yarn Bomb’ exhibit at Village Green Park. See the exhibit in this...

Local Artists Honored at Legendary Women of Venice Awards

March 22, 2022

March 22, 2022

Venice Art Crawl hosts the 3rd annual Legendary Women of Venice Awards, find out who was honored in this video...

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s Stairway of the Stars Returns for in-Person Concert

March 16, 2022

March 16, 2022

March 19 concert will feature nearly 900 elementary, middle, and high school students By Sam Catanzaro For the first time...

Young Musicians Take the Stage at John Adams Middle School for the First Time Since March 2020

March 2, 2022

March 2, 2022

Over 150 students in grades 3–8 will be performing across six different large ensembles Nearly two years after the pandemic...

Interview With Aero Theatre’s Gwen Deglise

February 22, 2022

February 22, 2022

American Cinematheque’s Gwen Deglise talks about what the theatre has to offer community By Dolores Quintana The Aero Theatre at...