Winter 2015 Features series
Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 4:00pm
Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 7:00pm
Directed by Kelly Reichardt
Screenplay by Jonathan Raymond and Kelly Reichardt
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, and Peter Sarsgaard
Rated 14A ·
Kelly Reichardt’s (Meek’s Cutoff) suspense thriller Night Moves follows three passionate environmentalists whose homegrown plot to blow up a controversial dam unravels into a journey of doubt, paranoia and unintended consequences.
Set against the ravishing, threatened natural beauty of Oregon, the film tracks step-by-relentless-step as quiet organic farmer Josh (Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network), high society dropout Dena (Dakota Fanning, The Secret Life of Bees, War of the Worlds) and adrenaline-driven ex-Marine Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard, Blue Jasmine, An Education) prepare, carry out and then experience the shocking fallout of what they hoped would be an attention-grabbing act of sabotage. Feeling they have been pushed to the limit by disregard for the local ecosystem, the trio is about to see their own personal limits tested.
As the tension mounts, the film touches on provocative moral questions about the underside of idealism and the modern collision of values and violence. But the story also veers increasingly inward, into the maelstrom of remorse, fear and panic that seeps through Josh, Dena and Harmon’s lives.
For Reichardt, who brings her distinctive voice to the thriller genre, the story is “not about politics but about people.” Josh, Dena and Harmon each have their reasons for blowing up the dam, but in the process, their political intentions turn hauntingly personal.
“Like many of the best noir crime films, Night Moves isn’t a whodunit, it’s a can-they-live-with-it. The tension and the edge come not from any great mystery, but from watching three individuals coming to grips with the consequences of their actions, and reacting in very different ways. This is a quietly gripping gem.” (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
“Night Moves eschews traditional tension-building through plot twists and betrayals to focus on its characters, as Reichardt uses her increasingly impressive sense of composition and intuitive pacing to slow burn the audience into a state of anxiety instead of manipulatively pushing them there.” (Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com)