A trio of environmental activists go the extra protesting mile by planning to blow up a hydroelectric dam. It’s all for a good cause, right? But tragedy can strike even the well-intentioned.
This seemingly straightforward plot (in both senses of the word) is expertly executed and rendered entirely gripping, thanks to intense performances and the director’s trademark languid style. Starring Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), the eternally unnerving Peter Sarsgaard and former child star Dakota Fanning (impressively grown-up since War of the Worlds), the story focuses on their sullen interactions, with all the unspoken tension and paranoid glances such a scenario presents.
The pacing is notable, as in all Kelly Reichardt’s films, for taking its damned time. The director is unrepentantly interested in the “small moments”, and while the planning for the bomb is intricately detailed and necessarily builds suspense, the potential for interpersonal conflict smolders quietly. With the contribution of a terrific soundtrack and subtle camerawork, the result is nothing short of enthralling.