Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 2013. Maybach Film Productions, RT Features, Film Science, DeLeon Productions, Tipping Point Productions. Screenplay by Jonathan Raymond, Kelly Reichardt. Cinematography by Christopher Blauvelt. Produced by Saemi Kim, Neil Kopp, Chris Maybach, Anish Savjani, Rodrigo Teixeira. Music by Jeff Grace. Production Design by Elliott Hostetter. Costume Design by Victoria Farrell. Film Editing by Kelly Reichardt.
Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning star in Kelly Reichardt’s moody drama as dedicated environmentalists who are determined to blow up a dam that they believe is ecologically damaging. Teaming up with a shadier and even more militant activist (Peter Sarsgaard), this rag-tag, small time version of the Earth Liberation Front put together the materials needed and drive all night to the dam where they place the bomb and watch their dream of awakening the world to this important message come true. The results are not what they expect, however, when there is the possibility that an unforeseen casualty is involved, and what was previously black and white morality now has shades of gray. Stunning cinematography and terrific performances (Fanning particularly impressive in a strangely riveting scene of her trying to buy fertilizer) for some odd reason don’t add up to much. It’s a well directed movie, focusing on the same tiny story arcs that characterize much of Reichardt’s impressive body of work, but there’s absolutely nothing interesting about it: putting the lens up this close to the action without any sweeping plot movement does not reveal much worth remembering.