Kelly Reichardt

Kelly Reichardt

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Night Moves Review


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.

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What Can We Expect From Suspense Thriller, 'Night Moves'? [Trailer]

Jesse Eisenberg Dakota Fanning Kelly Reichardt

The international trailer for director Kelly Reichardt’s new thriller, Night Moves, is starting to get more British attention as the film hurtles towards its 29 August UK release date. The film, which stars Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard, premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year to positive reviews.

Jesse Eisenberg, Night Moves
Jesse Eisenberg as radical environmentalist Josh in Night Moves

The motion picture revolves around three radicalised environmental activists, Josh (Eisenberg), high-school dropout, Dena (Fanning) and ex-marine Harmon (Sarsgaard) as they endeavour to send a message to the industrialised world by destroying a hydro-electric dam in Oregon.

Continue reading: What Can We Expect From Suspense Thriller, 'Night Moves'? [Trailer]

Night Moves Trailer

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.   

BFI London Film Festival: 'Night Moves' Premiere

Kelly Reichardt - BFI London Film Festival: 'Night Moves' premiere held at the Odeon West End - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 15th October 2013

Kelly Reichardt

Wendy And Lucy Review

A prime specimen of American independent cinema unencumbered by overbearing social commentary, Kelly Reichardt's serene Wendy and Lucy finds more startling emotional honesty in the relationship between a young woman, her lost dog, and a small cast of day-job regulars than most films dare ask of two humans. Securing Michelle Williams' place as one of the great young actresses currently working in the American cinema, Reichardt has miraculously cut down the lean metaphysics of her last work, 2006's majestic Old Joy, into something far more enrapturing, a sort of seasonal constellation.

Williams plays the distraught Wendy, who finds herself desperately searching for her dog Lucy in a small town in suburban Portland, Oregon. Her shabby clothing, ramshackle hygiene procedures and ruffled bob of emo-black hair designate her as part of a burgeoning class of nomadic neo-hippies and wanderers, but she has ambition, yearning for a job and a warm place to come home to. Early on, Wendy -- on the run from something, we never know exactly what -- encounters a pack of fellow drifters -- Joy's Will Oldham naturally plays the alpha named Icky -- who point her towards fishery jobs in Alaska. She begins to count her money and things look OK, but then she is busted for stealing dog food from a local supermarket, an act that sets off a set of relatively minor but nevertheless tragic happenings that keep Wendy from leaving Portland and drain her wallet.

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AFI Screening Of 'Wendy And Lucy' Held At The Archlight Theatre - Arrivals

Kelly Reichardt Saturday 8th November 2008 AFI Screening of 'Wendy and Lucy' held at The Archlight Theatre - Arrivals Hollywood, California

Kelly Reichardt
Kelly Reichardt and Michelle Williams
Kelly Reichardt
Kelly Reichardt and Michelle Williams

New York Film Festival 2008 - Premiere Of 'Wendy And Lucy' - Arrivals

Larry Fessenden, Kelly Reichardt and Will Patton - Larry Fessenden, Kelly Reichardt and Will Patton New York City, USA - New York Film Festival 2008 - Premiere of 'Wendy and Lucy' - arrivals Saturday 27th September 2008

Old Joy Review

A beer cozy that one of the characters in Old Joy holds says "Whatever Happened, I Didn't Do It!" It's a small detail, but it is crucial to understanding Kelly Reichardt's tale of a burnt-out friendship trying to get sparked on a trip to a hot springs in the woods of Oregon.

Mark (Daniel London) meditates on the back lawn of his tiny suburban home in the rainy desolation of Portland. Unlike his old best friend Kurt (Will Oldham), Mark has become a modern man: He has a wife, a kid on the way, and watches his health with a focused eye. Kurt, on the left hand, still makes his bed in his van or on a random friend's floor, has a hash pipe glued to his mouth, and still detests cell phones. It is Kurt's idea for them to hike into the maze of green foliage in the Oregon forest to find the hot springs they are so mildly excited about, accompanied by Mark's dog Lucy.

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River Of Grass Review

Quirky and deadpan -- and I never thought I'd say this, but it's possible to be overly so.

River of Grass, set amidst the endless weeds of the Florida Everglades, features to go-nowhere losers, a bored mother named Cozy (Lisa Bowman) and a homeless loser named Lee (filmmaker Larry Fessenden). They happen upon one another and decide, almost by accident, to head off on a new life of adventure (and crime, thanks to a stolen gun and an accidental murder) on the open road. Alas, they don't get far: They don't even have a quarter for the toll road. (And they didn't even kill the guy, either.)

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