W. Earl Brown
Yet the narrative is the least interesting thing about this perceptive, sometimes poetic feature. Gaudet and Pullapilly have a background in documentaries, and there's a convincing naturalism to their storytelling. Teenagers get into car chases with moose, fight at concerts in dirt fields, and shoot potato cannons, all to find some small pleasure outside their tedious routines, and it's all captured with an unstinting gaze, the filmmakers' takes long and camera handheld. The naturalism is sometimes infused with Van Sant's romanticism, as in the potato scenes or a sequence where Dominic and Casper shove a beat-up car off a cliff.
While the narrative does make late, unfortunate lurches into overcooked-thriller territory -- complete with an ending that exemplifies the term "deus ex machina" -- the images of young small-town lives resonate and linger.