Leave No Trace centres around Will (Ben Foster) and his teenage daughter, Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), who have been living off the grid in a huge park where they largely keep out of the way of society, although sometimes they do hide in plain sight, such as a trip on the Portland tram, or going down the shops.
The premise is that they’ve been doing for some time, and it’s fairly early on when they’re discovered, and that’s fine for this film as you get the idea it’s been a long-term situation for them, and so don’t need to sit through an hour of forest living to have that brought across to you.
For the pair, eviction is the only outcome because the main problem is that it’s illegal to live on public land. Seeing them come out and back into general society is like watching aliens land on Earth and being introduced to humans for the first time.
I don’t want to give any spoilers about what happens since that’s what you’ll discover, but Leave No Trace mostly played out the way I was expecting. To that end, I’d heard great things about this, but once it had set out its stall, it basically just meandered. It’s never boring, but… it’s never great.
Ben Foster is a great actor, but I’m not really feeling that here. It’s like he’s having a day off.
On the plus side, this film does come up with an actual ending, but again, it didn’t make any difference to how I felt.
I’ll just give a score for the film because for the picture, DVDs are okay but they’re not as good as Blu-ray, and if you’re a fan of this film, it’s a shame that there isn’t such a release. You can, however, buy it digitally, so can see it in HD in that format.
For the audio, there is nothing major in the way of split-surround sound.
The DVD is ridiculously bare bones with no extras apart from an audio description track. There are a stack of audio langauges and subtitles, but I am curious as to why they took the trouble to give us the film with 18 subtitle tracks, but… NO EXTRAS!
Film Score: 5/10
Running time: 109 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
Released: November 12th 2018
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: English, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Turkish
Disc Format: DVD9
Director: Debra Granik
Producers: Anne Harrison, Linda Reisman, Anne Rosellini
Screenplay: Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini
Novel: Peter Rock (“My Abandonment“)
Music: Dickon Hinchliffe
Will: Ben Foster
Tom: Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie
Dale: Dale Dickey
Vet at VA: Jeff Rifflard
Larry: Derek Drescher
Jean: Dana Millican
Valerie: Alyssa Lynn
Tiffany: Ryan E Joiner
James: Mike Prosser
Mr. Walters: Jeff Kober
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.