Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 04 January 2013 01:00

Environmental issues drive drama in ‘Promised Land’

Environmental issues drive drama in ‘Promised Land’ www.promisedlandfilm.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

“Promised Land” dramatizes the underhanded tactics of a fictional corporation determined to gain rights to drill for natural gas on farmers’ land. There’s a lot at stake for this rural community, and though the film wears its environmental heart on its sleeve, the debate about hydraulic fracturing (fracking) deserves the attention given here.

Adapted for the screen by Matt Damon and John Krasinski (known most widely from “The Office”), based on a story by Dave Eggers, “Promised Land” stars Matt Damon as Steve Butler, a deceitful salesman who buys clothes that help him look local just before he begins calling on economically distressed residents. Frances McDormand as Steve’s partner, Sue Thomason, is equally manipulative, trying to hoodwink the residents until science teacher and retired engineer Frank Yates, a wonderful Hal Holbrook, calmly offers reasonable objections via confrontational questions.

Soon another problem arises when Dustin Noble (Krasinski) arrives to make ecological charges. As company reps Steve and Sue redouble their efforts, the conflict foregrounds thorny problems, including the economic downturn pressuring farmers and corrupt local politics. Further complicating the story, elementary teacher Alice and Steve begin a romantic relationship in a totally unnecessary subplot.

Shot on beautiful farms in western Pennsylvania, the fictional town of McKinley provides a perfect backdrop for the debate. Cast against type and thereby making it more disarming, Damon brings his thoroughly likable, easy-going charm to a dishonest character and McDormand provides ample attitude and humor. Most supporting roles feel just right, a few a bit contrived, but the basic local flavor rings true.

Damon had committed to directing “Promised Land” before his acting schedule made it impossible. He says firing himself as the director was the best move he made as a producer because Damon then hired the solid Gus Van Sant. Van Sant brings to life well-written characters with humorous dialogue that doesn’t sacrifice an undercurrent of serious considerations. Despite its minor faults, it’s gratifying to have a film about something that isn’t juvenile, hostile, or brainless. Instead “Promised Land” profiles an on-going, important problem that deserves attention and in an accessible, entertaining manner. At a Landmark Theatre.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

KDHX Recommends

July
Friday
10

A Muscle Shoals Music Revue with Amy Black and Sarah Borges

Join powerhouse singers Amy Black and Sarah Borges for a soulful celebration of the incredible music that came out of Muscle Shoals, Alabama in the 1960s and 70s. Together, with a full band, they will perform classic songs originally...


July
Saturday
11

Brunch at the Stage: Jonathan Ramsey

KDHX is now curating a Saturday brunch series at the Stage with live music from local musicians and delicious, locally-sourced food and drinks from the Magnolia Café. Brunch at the Stage takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m....


July
Tuesday
14

KDHX Get Down to Business Series: How to Land, and Nail, an Interview

KDHX and Arcade Apartments present the Get Down to Business series at the Stage. Get Down to Business is a series of professional development presentations geared towards the St. Louis arts community. On Tuesday, July 14th, at 7...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

1 user and 8668 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook