Monday, April 8, 2013

Promised Land

Director: Gus Van Sant

Starring: Frances McDormand, Hal Holbrook, John Krasinski, Rosemarie DeWitt

Fracking is an emotive subject and forms the central pivot of Promised Land. An issue driven drama set in a complex social situation and with rather a verbose script. The movie is a metaphor for the battle between dependence upon foreign oil and domestic natural gas and simply put militarism abroad and poverty at home. Naïve but likable sales executive Steve Butler (Damon) and his business partner Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand) go to a depressed Pennsylvania town to purchase drilling rights from farmers for the purpose of fracking. They charm the pants off everyone in the process but is their quest really righteous. Local retired teacher Frank Yates (Hal Holbrook) and environmental activist Dustin Noble (Krasinski) challenge the safety of the gas extraction process (fracking) and the battle begins with some unexpected turns. What starts well as a political story ends as a personal morality tale in the standard Hollywood style and that is regrettable. Good all round performances from the cast.

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