Into the Forest (2015)

Into the Forest
Director: Patricia Rozema
Writer: Patricia Rozema
Based on: Jean Hegland’s novel
Cast: Ellen PageEvan Rachel WoodMax MinghellaCallum Keith RennieMichael EklundWendy Crewson
Seen on: 2.9.2017

Nell (Ellen Page) and Eva (Evan Rachel Wood) grow up with their father (Callum Keith Rennie) just outside of a small town in the Redwood Forest. But then something happens and slowly the infrastructure around them falls apart. First there is no more electricity, then no more gas and then they are entirely isolated in their forest home. When they realize that power, infrastructure and life as it was won’t be reinstated any time soon, Nell and Eva have to try and manage their lives on their own.

Into the Forest is not only a great adaptation of the novel I utterly loved, but simply a beautiful film in its own right.

I read the novel when I heard about the film and then it took me quite a while to finally get to see the film (because it never got so much as a limited release here or a screening at a festival). That means that I might be mistaken but I thought that the film was very close to the novel, although it deviates in the ending of the story that wasn’t quite as revolutionary as in the novel. Since I wasn’t sure about how much I could go along with the ending in the bookd, that softening was both welcome and made me miss the unsettling effect the book had on me.

But moving away from the book. The film is a thing of beauty, both with its lush cinematography and the people it cast. Although more importantly, they aren’t just pretty, but really well-chosen for their roles and give great performances.

The soundtrack is really amazing, too, strengthening the emotional core of a very emotional story. I was completely immersed in the lives of the two sisters and their very different ways to deal with an impossible situation – and in sometimes rather unexpected ways.

Even though it takes some turns that would have probably pissed me off in another story, here those turns are so sensitively handled, that I didn’t even mind them. Instead I just loved the film.

Summarizing: Just lovely.

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