Movie Review: Leave No Trace

There have been a number of movies I have seen over recent years with the same general theme of the new movie “Leave No Trace”. There are adults in a family who decide to live in the woods or homeless and they do this despite the fact that they have a child or several children. Leave No Trace is a true story of a war Veteran who decides he would rather live in an Oregon forest near a city and he takes his 15 year old daughter along for the ride. As I have said before in this blog, if you’re an adult and want to live homeless or in the woods, then that is the decision you have made in your life. If you also have a child you either forego your idea of wilderness life or give up your child for adoption. Its that simple. Its just unfair to the life of the child.

The reality of this story is that despite living in the woods for much of her life the teenage daughter – strangely named Tom – has been extremely well educated by her father. Tom is played extremely well by Thomasin McKenzie and there is talk of an Academy Award nomination for her because of this role – an opinion I agree with due to her natural acting ability. Her father Will, played very well by Ben Foster seems to be in a depressed coma for much of this film – and what bothered me is why he decided to live in the woods like this with his daughter. I thought this was a question that needed to be asked, especially given that there were so many opportunities to ask him why he wants to live in the woods. I consider this a major flaw in the movie.

The Rotten Tomatoes review for this movie are an extremely high 100% – but for me I thought this movie was at best a 75%, due to parts that dragged on too long and a story that while interesting, mostly because it is true, was rather depressing.

Overall I do recommend Leave No Trace.