7/10
Remarkably unpredictable and, essentially, exposition-less; an affecting and engaging picture.
30 June 2018
'Leave No Trace (2018)' is, remarkably, never predictable or on-the-nose. Instead, it soon settles into its own slow rhythm to provide an experience that's refreshing in its ability to show instead of tell. Often, it refrains from saying anything at all, especially during the moments in which it actually speaks volumes. This is a technique - or, rather, way of thinking - it uses to cut to the heart of its scenes and provide some incredibly raw emotional beats. Even in its 'loudest' of moments, it feels marvellously gentle and is brought to life with a steady, self-assured hand. The film is extremely engaging and has an astute ability to render its core relationship with a wonderfully tender realism, examining its father and daughter duo - as well as the former's traumatic background and scarred mental-state - brilliantly and not always blatantly. This, again, plays into its pretty much perfect 'show, don't tell' mentality and allows you to piece together what's going on behind our core players' eyes. It allows for an empathetic and emotive picture that impacts you in essentially every sequence, especially those towards its devastating yet somewhat inevitable end. Overall, the movie is actually highly enjoyable, and affecting, because of this emotional impact. 7/10
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