Thomasin McKenzie) is spotted by a jogger she and her father (Ben Foster) are forced to find a living situation more suitable for her. The pair try to adapt, however, as Tom reaches a precarious age the two want different things.
Leave no Trace is like Captain Fantastic but without the sanctimonious smugness that made Captain Fantastic such an aggravating experience. Leave No Trace perfectly balances the rights and wrongs of both of the two different lives, leaving for a quite thought-provoking experience. Even though Tom was well cared for by her father, and educated at a level above her age, her living conditions were not suitable for a stable life (especially when the cold climate almost takes a heavy toll).
The caring and loving relationship between the pair makes the film delicately touching and engaging. Because of this there were times I was frustrated with Will failing to consider what was right for his daughter. It wasn’t his fault (because of the PTSD), but because I cared deeply for the characters I was frustrated at the whole scenario of Tom being forced to move as soon as she settled in her new environment. It’s a testament to Debra Granik’s deft touch in the director's chair that the film is quite as sensitively profound as it is.
The two central performances are superb with Ben Foster displaying ruggedness with a sensitive vulnerability and Thomasin McKenzie’s beautifully natural performance suggests that she has a promising career ahead of her.