It has been eight years since director Debra Granik's last film, Winter's Bone, starring a then-unknown actress: Jennifer Lawrence. That film, of course, went on to earn Lawrence her first Oscar nomination -- along with a Best Picture nomination, among others -- and helped launch the future Hunger Games/Silver Linings Playbook/X-Men star's career.
Now, Granik has returned at last, with Leave No Trace, a drama about a father (played by Ben Foster) who -- illegally -- raises his daughter in a forest preserve in the Pacific Northwest, until social services intervene to nudge them towards a more conventional life. Relative newcomer, 17-year-old New Zealand actress Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, plays Foster's daughter and is easily the breakout star of the film. (See her in an exclusive clip, above.)
Leave No Trace, in theaters now, premiered at Sundance earlier this year (as Winter's Bone before it did) before screening at Cannes and becoming one of the best reviewed films of the year. As for McKenzie, she has gone on to book roles in Taika Waititi's next film, the WWII satire Jojo Rabbit, and in Netflix's Shakespearian drama, The King, opposite Timothée Chalamet and Robert Pattinson.
Watch the trailer for Leave No Trace:
Here is the movie's official synopsis:
"A teenage girl, Tom (breakout newcomer Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), and her veteran father Will (Ben Foster) have lived undetected for years in Forest Park, a vast woods on the edge of Portland, Oregon. A chance encounter leads to their discovery and removal from the park and into the charge of a social services agency. They try to adapt to their new surroundings, until a sudden decision sets them on a perilous journey into the wilderness seeking complete independence and forcing them to confront their conflicting desire to be part of a community and fierce need to live apart."