Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard 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.
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This is a thriller on par with an Antonioni film with a little bit of Hitchcock sprinkled on top for good measure. Kelly Reichardt is a very intimate filmmaker who relies more on emotions than anything else to tell a story and it is absolutely brilliant. Eisenberg, Fanning, and Sarsgaard are brilliant too as they navigate themselves through this finely crafted film.
Perhaps 2 years ago when I don't know Reichardt completely, I watched this & think "What a boring & tenuous garbage is !" Well, I was irredeemable idiot. Rewatching this, I noticed that "Night Moves" is tensely insightful thriller with keeping her minimal & matter-of-fact direction. At this time, I'm especially impressed with her depicting how Jesse Eisenberg's charismatic character is captured by paranoia. Amazing.
Reichardt's most conventional movie—her slickest and most entertaining, but also a little slight. Great performance from Jesse Eisenberg, though, and a tense and thoughtful sketch on how a revolutionary impulses don't change anything so much as the life of the activist.
Kelly Richardht turns the tables on the film's eco-terrorists and its viewers by cagily shifting the tone from thriller to Shakespearean tragedy. Underneath the formal rigor (Richardht edits herself, cinematographer Christopher Blauvet meticulously frames) lie casual metaphors about our ridiculous pursuit to control Nature which may exist in a universe simply apathetic to us.
I: The way D moves her nose, whilst smirking/ II: "Oat meal is all you need" vs 'You need protein, girl!'/ III: The way the group - but especially D(ena) - dismisses the blonde hiker; that moment when she looks down & puts her hoodie on, gave me some serious goosebumps; that poor guy standing there, hands on hips, going "Riiiiiight, I should probably skedaddle, before I get any more evil stares from this weird lot" ▽
The title in Portuguese of the homonymous Arthur Penn's film is "A Throw in the Dark", which corresponds exactly to the second and great part of this film, which follows the bomb at the dam. Until there, is more of what indie cinema became: banality with pretension. Thereafter, the angst takes over the images of the movie, that obscures and becomes paranoia. Almost as good as a William Friedkin's.