Summer 2013 Features series
Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 8:00pm
Directed by Gus Van Sant
Screenplay by Dave Eggers, Matt Damon, and John Krasinski
Starring Frances McDormand, Hal Holbrook, Matt Damon, and John Krasinski
Rated NR ·
Steve Butler (Matt Damon, Invictus) has been dispatched to the small rural town of McKinley with his sales partner, Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand, Moonrise Kingdom, Fargo) by a big energy corporation that specializes in obtaining natural gas trapped in underground shale deposits through the controversial process known as fracking. The town has been hit hard by the economic decline of recent years, and the two consummate sales executives see McKinley’s citizens as likely to accept their company’s offer — for drilling rights to their properties — as much-needed relief.
What seems like an easy job and a short stay for the duo becomes complicated — professionally by calls for community-wide consideration of the offer by respected schoolteacher Frank Yates (Hal Holbrook) and personally by Steve’s encounter with Alice (Rosemarie DeWitt). When Dustin Noble (John Krasinski), a slick environmental activist, arrives, suddenly the stakes, both personal and professional, rise to the boiling point.
Gus Van Sant (Milk, Good Will Hunting) directed the film from an original screenplay written by John Krasinski and Matt Damon, from a story by Dave Eggers.
“There’s a lot to admire about Promised Land, starting with the fact that this issues-based movie is as casual as a game of darts in a small-town bar on Saturday night. You’d never guess that what was on its mind was awakening consciences about a very divisive domestic issue. There’s a lightness of touch here that makes its levelheaded advocacy go down smooth as lager, and allows some quiet room for thought.” (Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News)
“Promised Land is actually a potent and powerful look at how the stressed economy is stressing farm communities across America… director Gus Van Sant finds the human side of a knotty issue. No polemics. Just the face of a new America in crisis.” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)
“Promised Land is an involving and timely tale that explores the changing nature and complex challenges of rural life.” (Caludia Puig, USA Today)