Leave No Trace
Ben Foster, currently tied with Ethan Hawke as the world’s most improved once sucky actors, is phenomenal as Will, a homeless vet living in an Oregon park with his daughter, Tom (an incredible Thomasin McKenzie). Will trains his daughter to live off the land, and how not to be seen. When a jogger sees and reports them, the two wind up in the social services system, undergoing a barrage of tests and eventually being relocated to a work commune. While Will simply can’t adjust, Tom starts liking the indoors. No matter, because Will takes them back into the forest, where their two worlds start to truly separate. Directed and co-written by Debra Granik, the movie poses some serious questions on how PTSD should be handled, and what freedom really is in America. Foster is tragically sad as Will, a man we know very little about, and won’t know much about by film’s end, other than something has really messed him up. McKenzie will break your heart as the loving daughter who only knows the wilderness but wants to know more. One of the summer’s—and year’s—best films.