'Leave No Trace'
After Winter's Bone, we are pretty much onboard for whatever writer-director Debra Granik wants to do. (You should check out her compelling character-study doc Stray Dog if you haven't already, by the way.) Her latest sounds incredible: A father (Ben Foster, because yes) is dedicated to living off the grid and sustaining a life free from society's rules in a Portland, Oregon park. Everything is peachy until someone informs the authority that this may not be the most stable situation for his teenage daughter (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie) and the two are split up. Eventually, the they reunite and head "home," though any thought of a permanent happily-ever-after is a merely a pipe dream. The story is just the kind of class-conscious, outsider-friendly story that Granik has made her niche. And we should remind you that the filmmaker was the one who turned a young Jennifer Lawrence from who's-that-girl to It-girl, so don't be surprised if people are buzzing about McKenzie by the end of this festival.