• Another very solid film from Debra Granik (Down to the Bone in 2004 and Winter’s Bone in 2010)- clearly she can create atmosphere and gets strong performances (whether it is Vera Farminga, Jennifer Lawrence or Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie here)- these two are excellent
  • There are parts that remind me of Sean Penn’s 2007 film Into the Wild but unlike Penn’s film, or Malick of course- Granik doesn’t dwell on nature’s beauty—the seas of green that pervade the film here are utilitarian- serves the narrative and relationship
  • There’s an overwhelming goodness and grace to people in the film and the film in general— the RV park at the end is a little Eden, you have the Vet who is a medic and helps Foster when he’s ailing, you have the scene where the guy at the rehabilitation place realizes Foster can’t handle the machine and reads the questions to him—complements him on how well he’s done raising his daughter—there are 20 tender and poetic moments like this- quite affecting
  • McKenzie is great- she has that chin quiver when she’s showing high emotion—her moments with Foster are devastating
  • Unfortunately Granik, who admirably tells the story, cannot tell the film in such a way to make it beyond a recommend—unremarkable and unspecial visual filmmaking when it comes to comparing this to the better films of 2018 a