Writer and director Kelly Reichardt (Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff) is moving from the 19th century Oregon desert to a threatening, industrial American landscape in her latest film Night Moves. In the film, Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, and Peter Sarsgaard portray three radical environmentalists who plot to blow up a hydroelectric dam. Reichardt co-wrote the script with her regular collaborator Jonathan Raymond. The images and a detailed synopsis are posted below.
Night Moves is the story of three radical environmentalists coming together to execute the most intense protest of their lives: the explosion of a hydroelectric dam—the very source and symbol of the energy sucking, resource-devouring industrial culture they despise. Harmon is a former Marine, radicalized by tours of duty overseas. His life in the military is behind him, but at heart he remains the same reckless alpha male he always was, eager for adventure, excited by the prospect of mayhem and destruction. Dena is a high society dropout, sickened by the consumer economy into which she was born. She’s moved west and cut ties with her family, edging ever deeper into radical politics. And Josh, their leader, is a self-made militant, devoted to the protection of the Earth by any means necessary. A son of the middle class who works on an organic farm, he’s an intensely private person by nature and may have the deepest convictions of them all. Night Moves is a tale of suspense and a meditation on the consequences of political extremism. When do legitimate convictions truly demand illegal behaviors? What happens to a person’s political principles when they find their back against the wall?
If Night Moves is nearly as good as it seems on paper, this may be quite the film. Kelly Reichardt is an immensely talented filmmaker who has proved an outstanding progression with each film she makes. Also, it helps that she has assembled the talented trio of Eisenberg, Fanning, and Sarsgaard.
Night Moves is scheduled to play at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival this fall. An official release date hasn’t been set but I’m sure this film will get picked up soon enough.