Saturday 20 July 2019

Movie reviews: Leave No Trace, Adrift, and Patrick

Leave No Trace (PG, 109mins) - 5 stars

Adrift (12A, 96mins) - 3 stars

Patrick (PG, 94mins) - 3 stars

Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace

Michael O'Sullivan and Paul Whitington

Michael O'Sullivan and Paul Whitington have the lowdown on this week's other new releases:

Leave No Trace (PG, 109mins)

5 stars

Indie director Debra Granik explores the grubby fringes of the American dream, and the quiet despair of the marginalised underclass. Her superb 2010 'country noir' thriller, Winter's Bone, laid bare the tough lives of rival clans in the Ozark country, and Leave No Trace is every bit as thought-provoking, and good.

Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie play Will and Tom, a father and daughter who live off the grid in the wilds of a vast park on the edge of Portland, Oregon. Tom is 13 and her father has been schooling her: they seem to have been hiding out in the woods for some time. Exactly why is never made explicit, but along the way Granik drops intriguing hints: Tom's mother is dead and Will is an ex-soldier who may be traumatised. The authorities are not to be trusted, he reckons, and he's taught Tom how to lay low and avoid being seen. One day, however, she grows careless, and the pair are surrounded by cops and taken into custody, where they are subjected to rigorous psychological testing.

Leave No Trace asks all sorts of interesting questions about the nature of society and the rights of the individual versus the supposed common good. It looks tremendous, and is wonderfully acted by McKenzie and Foster.

Adrift (12A, 96mins) - 3 stars

In 1983, a 23-year-old Californian woman called Tami Oldham spent 41 days on the open ocean in a crippled yacht with minimal supplies after running straight into a giant Pacific hurricane. Baltasar Kormakur's Adrift is inspired by that story, and stars Shailene Woodley as Tami, who's at a loose end in Tahiti when she meets a handsome English yachtsman called Richard (Sam Claflin). They hit it off and when Richard agrees to sail a friend's 40ft luxury yacht back to San Diego, he asks Tami to go with him. Initially, their journey is idyllic, but as Hurricane Raymond appears on the horizon, things are about to go horribly wrong.

Adrift is a little bit slushy during the couple's courtship, but really comes into its own once the weather turns bad. The storm is brilliantly recreated, and Woodley grounds this solidly entertaining film with a convincingly fraught performance.

Patrick (PG, 94mins) - 3 stars

And finally, a word about Patrick, a slight but charming Disney family film starring Beattie Edmondson as Sarah, a rather lost young school teacher who's not best pleased when her late granny bequeaths her a mischievous pug. Patrick chews her slippers and steals food from the fridge but will turn out to be a blessing in disguise who bucks up Sarah's work life and even has a go at playing Cupid. It's harmless fun.

Also releasing this week: Dublin Oldschool movie review: The party's over as play loses much of its magic on the big screen

Sicario: Day of the Soldado movie review: Shallow sequel is bloody and boring

Irish Independent

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