Amidst the shuffle of Oscars Season, several great Films inevitably will be overlooked. One of them just might be Promised Land, the latest from auteur Director Gus van Sant. The Drama centers around a Salesman from a Natural Gas Company named Steve (Matt Damon) and his more seasoned Partner in Sue (Frances McDormand), who both are sent to a small town to convince Locals with generous monetary compensation, to allow his corporation the right to drill into their properties to access the abundance of resources in the area.
Matters are complicated severely once an Environmentalist out-of-nowhere named Dustin (John Krasinski) arrives, instilling doubt among the Locals, opening their eyes to the potential catastrophic implications of Drilling. As the Story unfolds, Steve learns more about his Corporation than he could have bargained for, making him question what it is truly that he stands for.
Promised Land through and through is a pleasant surprise, which at once poses ethical questions and also gives us a snapshot of a real issue Americans are facing, without ever oversimplifying the due complexity of the issue. Van Sant as always is a proficient Storyteller and one cannot help but feel engaged in a debate personified through these thoughtful characters. Teaming together for its Screenplay, Damon and Krasinski ultimately leave it to us to form our own opinion and this is why the Dramedy succeeds widely as a thought-provoking Piece.
What really drives Promised Land home is the genius pairing of Damon and McDormand as a Team – delightfully funny together. Krasinski grates on our nerves just enough to make us root for Damon‘s Steve and meanwhile, Rosemary Dewitt‘s Alice, finally gets a real chance to shine and she is so likable here that the slight feeling of being shortchanged in the seen-it-before conclusion, is all the more forgivable because we like the Characters so much.
Alliance Films releases Promised Land on January 4, 2013.
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