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Debra Granik's Leave No Trace

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated American Indie Films of 2018: #18. Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace

Only her third feature fiction film following Down to the Bone (2004) and Winter’s Bone (2010), it always feels like a true cinematic event when the likes of Kenneth Lonergan, Whit Stillman, Kelly Reichardt, and now Debra Granik drop a new title. Perhaps its assessing and accessing the story, but the painstaking craftsmanship and thought that goes into each oeuvre is deliberate. Originally Casey Affleck was cast in the lead, but Ben Foster was joined by the remarkable newbie Thomasin McKenzie in April/May of last year in the off-the-grid wilderness of Portland, Oregon. Granik re-teamed with cinematographer Michael McDonough. This is intimate cinema.

Spotful & IONCINEMA.com

Adapted by Granik and Anne Rosellini from author Peter Rock’s novel My Abandonment, the story follows 13-year-old Caroline (Thomasin McKenzie) and her father, Will (Foster), who are found living in Forest Park, a temperate rainforest abutting Portland, Oregon. When authorities pluck them from their hidden world, where they lived peacefully and practically, Caroline and Will must embark on an increasingly erratic journey in search of a place to call their own. Update: Receiving rave reviews from Sundance, this contains perhaps the best parting scene that will be found in cinema this year.

Release Date/Prediction: Premiering in the Premieres section at Sundance, the Bleecker Street folks landed the rights and will likely look towards building an awards friendly release.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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