Fans of writer/director Kelly Reichardt will be right at home with her latest endeavour, yet another Oregon-set environmentally-minded indie flick, where absolutely nothing happens.The deliberately-paced works of Reichardt are like Atom Egoyan films, only without the emotion, or Terrence Malick films, only without the beauty, and there’s no doubt that she has a devout following, who lap up her slow-burning, naturally-evolving dramas like they are milestones leading towards the Second Coming.And, yes, there is something unquestionably intriguing about her features – which is ironic when you consider that they seem resolutely intent on providing a whole new definition to the word anti-climactic. For films as anti-eventful as these, you might wonder just what draws you in, just what keeps you intrigued beyond all logic and rationalisation. Because, without a doubt, there is something there, however intangible.
Night Moves follows a trio of environmental extremists who are intent upon blowing up a small dam. They discuss and deliberate, they gather materials and obtain a boat, and they set off on their mission. However, what happens has arguably a bigger effect upon them than it does an impact on the big industries that they are seeking to send a message to.
Reichardt is more than prepare to lose large portions of her audience in order to stay true to her own distinct style.
Reichardt's works require patience, and not just on the part of the audience. Her actors must be capable of conveying not only their emotions but the very narrative itself with precious few words; carrying the weight of the entire movie on their shoulders. For her trio here, the task is sometimes insurmountable, with very little gleaned from the perpetually glum Eisenberg in particular, and Fanning and Sarsgaard only just faring slightly better.
Reichardt’s true character inspection starts in earnest over halfway through the movie; which is a lot to ask of viewers, and which perhaps does not work as well here as in some of her other works. Still, there is something intriguing, and almost unattainable beneath the surface, and those to whom this style appeals will be more than prepared to invest the time in figuring out exactly what that is.
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.