A salesman for a natural gas company experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town, where his corporation wants to tap into the available resources.
PROMISED LAND is a new film by Gus Van Sant (GOOD WILL HUNTING, MILK) and worth watching on a relaxed Sunday afternoon. Van Sant recognises that not every film has to be a masterpiece, however, don’t let that statement deter you from seeing this film. It has witty humour and an environmental message that ins’t shoved down the audiences throats.
Van Sant offers an ‘Indie’ film look with no huge explosions and the characters actually have development. The relationships Steve Butler (Matt Damon) encounters throughout the film actually feels genuine; there isn’t some dramatic personal life event and a damsel in distress. We follow Butler on a journey through a transition period in his life. The chemistry between Steve and his love interest, Alice (Rosemarie DeWitt), is quite cute. His working relationship with Sue Thompson (Frances McDormand) is funny, serious and she almost seems like a mother to Steve.
The set is simple, the locations are beautiful and there’s just something lonely about living in a motel room. The screenplay is carefully written offering witty humour and realistic jokes, as if the audience were witnessing the commotion first hand. The acting wasn’t obvious and the film offers a merely convincing twist towards the end.
I did feel the middle dragged on and it ended too quickly. I would have liked to see more romance between Steve and Alice, but as a whole, the film isn’t too bad. Not a blockbuster, but worth watching. PROMISED LAND is rated M and runs for 106 minutes showing at Luna Leederville. I rate it 6 out of 10 stars.