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Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Saarsgard star as radical environmental activists whose act of eco-terror plunges them into a moral maelstrom, in the highly anticipated new film from acclaimed American auteur Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff).
One of the premiere voices in independent
cinema, Kelly Reichardt earned her renown
on the industry's periphery, working with
skeletal resources to craft singular works
of poetic realism, each of them arrestingly
intimate yet infused with political commentary.
Night Moves marks a significant
step deeper into political drama.
All of Reichardt's characters — the reunited
friends struggling to reconnect in Old Joy,
a young woman making her way north in
search of work in Wendy and Lucy, the
desperately lost homesteaders of Meek's
Cutoff — are outsiders of some kind, marginalized
by economics or ideology, seeking
a place in a less-than-welcoming American
landscape. The characters at the centre of
Night Moves are no exception, though their
actions are more extreme than anything
depicted in Reichardt's previous work.
The film follows three clandestine activists
scheming to blow up a dam — and the
ways their lives unravel in the aftermath.
Josh (Jesse Eisenberg), Dena (Dakota
Fanning), and Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard)
are meant to perform their act of eco-terror
and then go their separate ways. But when
the full results of their actions come to
light, a clean getaway may prove more elusive
than they'd anticipated.
This is a film about a plot; it is also a far
more plot-heavy film than we're accustomed
to seeing from this most austere of
auteurs. Perhaps it is best to think of Night
Moves as Reichardt's personal spin on a
genre — but which genre? The film slips
seamlessly from a suspenseful thriller into
a tale of moral consequence. Only a filmmaker
as adept at tone as Reichardt could
make such a transition so fluidly. And only a
filmmaker with Reichardt's integrity could
keep us so captivated, questioning our sympathies
and wondering how to navigate our
political conscience in troubled times.
- Kelly Reichardt
- Kelly Reichardt was born in Miami.
She directed the short films Ode
(99), Then a Year (01), and Travis
(04). Her features include River of
Grass (94), Old Joy (06), Wendy and
Lucy (08), Meek's Cutoff (10), and
Night Moves (13).