Night Moves

Night Moves
Directed by Kelly Reichardt
Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard

by Joanna Orland

Night Moves has a promising start as an ambient drama that is stylistically building its tension to a rather unsatisfying climax.  Exploring political issues through the means of environmental activism, this film never quite connects with its audience as the characters are very hollow, their motives very shallow, and the consequences rather predictable.

While the political motives of the characters are somewhat explored, or at least mentioned, the character dynamics and developments are left untreated.  We cannot be quite sure of what relationship Josh (Jesse Eisenberg) has with Dena (Dakota Fanning).  How do these people even know each other?  What brings them together for this common cause?  There is no need for ambiguity, in fact, quite the opposite.

In spite of its shallow exploration, the mood and feel of the film are perfect.  The slow pace, music, and visuals are a feat to have executed in this manner, but it is a shame that it is wasted on this thin plot and these horrid two dimensional characters.

If wanting to explore Kelly Reichardt’s film career, a much better film to seek out is the glorious Wendy and Lucy starring Michelle Williams and a dog named Lucy.

Our BFI London Film Festival red carpet interview with the film’s star Jesse Eisenberg:

Jesse EisenbergJesse Eisenberg discusses his performance in Night Moves.


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