This may be a slow-burning thriller about eco-terrorists, but it's also directed by Kelly Reichardt (Meek's Cutoff), a filmmaker who maintains an oddly aloof perspective while moving at her own steady pace. While this original approach offers fresh insight into the subject matter, it also creates a distance with the audience. But the subtle tone and complex morality add a strong resonance to the subject matter.
It's set in the rural American Northwest, where organic farmer Josh (Jesse Eisenberg) is collaborating with zen-retreat worker Dena (Dakota Fanning) and ex-military loose cannon Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard) to plan a bombing that will make people stop and think about what humanity is doing to the planet. Their target is a dam in Oregon that provides hydroelectric power, and their rationale is that no one needs to run their iPods 24 hours a day. After painstakingly setting up their subtle but devastating attack, they neglect to consider one possible outcome. And what follows forces them to re-examine their actions and motivations. It also causes a rift in their camaraderie that makes the outside threat feel even greater.
Despite the intense plot, this is definitely not an action movie, as Reichardt traces these three people's careful plan in sharp detail while quietly exploring the big issues that compel them to act. Oddly, these activist-terrorists seem oblivious that their violent plan is unlikely to make any difference in the grand scheme of things, and that very few people will ever understand their point. But they're such true believers that they simply can't see outside their circle. The acting is subdued and bracingly honest, creating complicated characters who say more without dialogue than with it. Sarsgaard has the most intriguing role, since Harmon has an undercurrent of menace that the others can't help but notice. And Reichardt lets the actors carry the scenes, using their expressive faces to fill in the details of the plot.
Continue reading: Night Moves Review
Josh (Jesse Eisenberg), a radical environmentalist teams up with high school drop-out, Dena (Dakota Fanning), and ex-marine Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard) in an attempt to send a message to the industrialised world they stand against: the bombing of a hydro-electric dam. The suspenseful political thriller delves into the world of extremists, desperate to protest in favour of their beliefs - even if it pushes them into illegal activity, doing so.
Night Moves comes to us courtesy of indie film director Kelly Reichardt, and having made the rounds of various, prestigious film festivals, it is due for a UK release this month. It has already been chosen for the official selection for the London, Venice and Toronto International Film Festival, and has enjoyed favourable reviews from critics and the public worldwide.
It has, however, been criticised for having major similarities in both in both character and plot with Edward Abbey's novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang. In 2012, a lawsuit was filed against the film, as it clashed with the novel of which a film adaptation was in pre-production.
Oliver remembers the time, in 2003, when his father Hal, came out to him at the age of 75, soon after the death of Oliver's mother Georgia. Hal was wearing a robe and not a purple sweater, as Oliver had previously thought. This came as a shock to him, having thought that his dad was perfectly happy with his mother. But Hal always knew he was gay; though he had thought that by marrying Georgia he would turn straight. Although Oliver maintains that he is fine with his father coming out, Hal's much younger, handsome boyfriend, Andy, doesn't seem so sure.
Continue: Beginners Trailer
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