A father and teenage daughter live off the grid in a huge forest environment in Oregon. Solitude is what they know and seek, yet loggers and patrols interrupt their escape from conventional society on an increasingly frequent basis. When social services intervene and insist on young Tom (Thomasin McKenzie) receiving an education, the shift to be part of the larger world is an unacceptable challenge to dad Will (Ben Foster). The question is will Tom’s natural curiosity and thirst for learning be stronger than her love for the forest life with the only person she’s experienced closeness with for as long as she can remember.
What’s remarkable about this low budget film is its huge critical acclaim – it is the only widely reviewed film since Paddington II to receive 100% critic ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. The director, Granik, is noted as the person who coaxed such a superlative performance from Jennifer Lawrence in her breaktthrough film Winter’s Bone. And here Granik is again enabling another teenage actor (McKenzie) to deliver a knockout turn which has drawn the focused attention of casting agents and directors in the US and further afield. An actor to watch for the future.
Post-screening Q&A with author Peter Fiennes about woodlands and culture.
‘This is a sympathetic, affecting, beautifully realised portrait of lives lived on the margins.’ Ian Freer, Empire
“An authoritative realism which permits the tensions between father and daughter, wilderness and civilisation, to emerge organically with a minimum of narrative prodding.” Ryan Gilbey, Sight & Sound