Label Volunteer, Isaac Cave, brings you a review on recent release, Leave No Trace, shown at the Flix Student Cinema.


A few weeks ago, the Flix Student Cinema screened the movie, Leave No Trace (directed by Debra Granik), a beautiful story which focuses on finding solace in the peace of nature and warmth of community. The film (spoiler free) follows Will, a deeply disturbed ex-soldier and his 13-year-old daughter Tom as they live their lives off the grid in the National Park of Portland, Oregon. When a slipup leads the authorities to discovering them, the two embark on a conflicted journey between the constant need to move on and the desire to belong.

With knockout performances from Ben Foster as Will and the supporting cast, you’ll be sucked into the storyline and left on the edge of your seat desperate to see more. But Thomasin McKenzie in particular delivers a rather impressive performance as one of the casts’ youngest. Her portrayal of a young teenager trying to strike a balance between her father’s damaging lifestyle and making a life for herself is both convincing and heart wrenching. In the first few minutes of the movie, I instantly believed that they were father and daughter and that the love they shared was unbreakable.

The film makes an excellent use of setting and its cinematography is outstanding. The shots of the forest and nature are quiet, permeated with birdsong, streams of water and the rustle of leaves, combined with bright shades of green and rays of sunlight. These beautiful scenes show Will’s need for a calm, isolated atmosphere away from a society that no longer has anything worthwhile to offer him. In comparison, the scenes of civilisation are largely noisy and composed of a dull colour pallet, often coming across as intimidating or oppressive. However, Tom finds comfort in this, developing friendships and exploring her curiosity of the world around her.

There isn’t much more for me to say except Leave No Trace is beautifully written and an absolute must see. The storyline is powerful from start to finish and the amazing execution of the concluding scenes left me feeling a profound sense of awe.

So, if you’re interested in watching movies like Leave No Trace or simply have a growing interest in film, the Flix Student Cinema has weekly screenings every Thursday, in the Cope Auditorium (next to Loughborough College). They offer a wide variety of foreign and indie films, giving you the chance to experience the best of filmmaking from around the globe. Memberships cost £7 and all films for members will be £2, or £4 for non-members. Details can be found on the Student Union website.


Featured image by: Amie Woodyatt


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