Film Club screening one of the top-rated films of 2018

Leave No Trace comes to Williams Lake this Friday

The Williams Lake Film Club is excited to bring director Debra Granik’s latest movie, Leave No Trace, to the Gibraltar Room on Friday, January 11th.

This is Grantik’s third narrative film and is a deeply affecting and powerful story that focuses on the relationship between a father struggling with post-traumatic stress and his teenage daughter. It currently has a 100 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was universally acclaimed by critics.

To cope with the trauma from serving in an unnamed war, Will (played by Ben Foster) is living in secluded isolation from society in a forested park bordering the city of Portland, Oregon, with his 13-year-old daughter, Tom (played by New Zealand newcomer Thomasin McKenzie). Granik does not provide much backstory regarding Will and Tom’s past, and the audience is left to infer the trauma he has suffered.

Read More: New film club organizer excited to bring TIF to lakecity

We also do not know how long they’ve been living in the park. For the most part, they live off the grid – sleeping in shelters they build themselves, collecting rainwater, and foraging for food. Will collects the little money they need to sustain themselves by selling his prescription drugs to a near-by homeless community of veterans. The film’s storyline is based on a true story (Peter Rock wrote a novel called My Abandonment in 2009 based on it).

Technically, Will and Tom are homeless – they are without a permanent dwelling, and living in the park against the law. While their life is not portrayed as picture perfect or without hardship, they are content. Everything changes for Will and Tom when their camp is spotted by a jogger, who alerts the authorities to their existence. They are both put into social services.

Will cannot handle the invasion of privacy and is not able to adapt to societal norms, while Tom gradually becomes aware of the extent of the trauma her father is dealing with and the ramifications it has had in her life. As it becomes more clear that Will is totally out of place in society and cannot handle the pressure of life behind four walls, we see Tom discover new opportunities, cultivate new interests and friendships, and attend school.

Granik’s previous film, in 2010, was Winter’s Bone, about a young girl struggling to keep her family apiece in the face of brutal poverty in the Southern US. This role introduced Jennifer Lawrence to a large audience and catapulted her to stardom, and based on Thomasin McKenzie’s superb performance in Leave No Trace, critics are speculating the same trajectory for this young actor. Since Leave No Trace, McKenzie has gone on to lead roles in upcoming 2019 films such as Jojo Rabbit (directed by Taika Waititi) and The King (also starring Timothee Chalamet as Henry V). Both are films currently in post-production.

Additionally, Ben Foster brings an authentic and genuine realism to his portrayal of Will. Foster is a veteran actor, who has been in the business since his teenage years. His breakthrough performance is considered by many to be the 2009 film The Messenger, where he played an American Marine sergeant faced with the task of telling civilian spouses or parents that their loved one was killed in action overseas. He has earned a reputation as a consistently brilliant character actor who immerses himself in his role – his work in Leave No Trace is no exception.

The rapport between the two actors is seamless, extraordinary and completely in sync. To prepare for their roles both actors participated together in survival training and wilderness appreciation for weeks before the shooting took place – building fires and shelters together accounted for much of their rehearsal time, and it enabled them to develop a bond that clearly translates to the screen.

Read More: Edge of the Knife wins big at TIFF and VIFF

The film was also shot in sequential order, so as the character of Tom begins to learn about PTSD, so did Thomasin McKenzie in real life. She notes in her interview with The Guardian, “we shot consecutively, so when I watch the film I can see myself kind of growing, both inside and outside.”

Although this movie doesn’t shy away from difficult themes, it is ultimately a hopeful film that quietly and unpretentiously depicts small everyday acts of kindness. Unlike most war stories, there is no traditional villain – rather, it is a story of people doing the best they can in difficult circumstances.

As Peter Bradshaw writes in his review (published by The Guardian), this film is “careful, realistic, with a sense of what is possible and what is at stake for those people who really do attempt to turn their backs on conventional living and also reject the stigma of homelessness – but what is also at stake for their children who have had no choice in the matter…It’s a movie that will live with me for a long time”.

Advance tickets are for sale at The Open Book, and tickets will be purchasable at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. while the film begins at 7 pm.

Submitted by the Williams Lake Film Club

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VIDEO: Supernault family and RCMP make appeal to witnesses in Sugar Cane unsolved murder

The body of Gerald Supernault was discovered on the outskirts of Sugar Cane Reserve Oct. 5, 2008

Provincial government needs to fund search and rescue: CRD

CRD board wants NCLGA resolution calling on the province to ensure secured funding is in place for SAR groups

Quesnel and Williams Lake under air quality advisory

Dust and overall air quality prompts Environment Canada to issue statement

Province gives CRD $25,000 towards new Emergency Operations Centre

‘The CRD is working towards constructing a new Emergency Operations Centre’

New groundwater source for Lexington subdivision located, approved

CRD said designs for a pump house and connection of the well hae been submitted to Interior Health for approval

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Most Read