This Week in the Mercury

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Gus Van Sant's Frustrating New Promised Land

Posted by Alison Hallett on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 9:09 AM


Portland director Gus Van Sant's got a new movie out, set in a small Pennsylvania town whose citizens are trying to decide if they want to allow a natural gas company to drill on their land. Written by Matt Damon and John Krasinski (who also star) and based on a story by Dave Eggers, the movie frustrated the shit out of me: It was so close to being a genuinely complex, adult movie, one that respects its audience enough to understand that the world is a complicated and imperfect place. But ultimately, thanks to a stupid last-minute twist, it's emphatically not that movie.

As frustrating as it is, though, it's still definitely worth seeing—Damon and Krasinski are excellent, as is Frances McDormand, and it's plenty engaging (not to mention absolutely gorgeous to look at).

My review just went live; Promised Land opens today, and you can find out where and when it's playing right over here.

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