Entries in James Badge Dale (1)

Saturday
Apr282018

"LITTLE WOODS" // TRIBECA 2018 REVIEW

Nia DaCosta’s LITTLE WOODS is a bleak, powerful drama that gives a stellar role to Tessa Thompson. She plays a woman named Ollie, living in a fracking boomtown in North Dakota. Life has dealt her a pretty shitty set of cards and she has been forced into crime (smuggling and selling) to make money for her family and to save her home. Ollie has been working hard to get through her probation, which she received for dealing drugs and running medicine over the Canadian border to people who needed it and couldn’t afford the insured kind. But even as close as she is, the old way of life is tempting her to stray before she’s free and clear. Her broken down sister Deb (Lily James) is dead broke and pregnant, her Mother has just passed away and she’s going to lose her house. Unless she makes one last run across the border and can fix it all.

 

Thompson gives a searing and understated performance here, playing out every bit of drama like a high stakes’ thriller. And a thriller it is, because the consequences of every single action in this film are sky high. This is life and death stakes, but on a lower, broken class scale. The sound design and cinematography really capture the dreariness of the steps around her, making you feel adrift as you watch her float in and out of some particularly bad decisions. The only person she trusts is her probation officer (Lance Reddick) and although she trusts him, he shouldn’t return the favor because she definitely is lying to him. But he does trust her, or at least wants to, and wants to see her rise up. But with a sharp eye on the small-town drug trade, LITTLE WOODS really does ask, “Is change possible, or is the end just inevitable?” Under the smart direction of DaCosta, you’re unsure of any answer.

VERDICT: MUST SEE
 

 

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY Nia Dacosta STARRING Tessa Thompson, Lily James, Luke Kirby, James Badge Dale, Lance Reddick. Playing as part of the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. https://www.tribecafilm.com/filmguide/little-woods-2018