It’s a role that’s seen young New Zealand actress Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie tipped as “the next Jennifer Lawrence”. McKenzie stars alongside Ben Foster in Denbra Granik’s latest film about a girl named Tom who lives off the grid with her father in Portland park.
After the pair are picked up by authorities Tom begins to look at her upbringing in a different light as she comes to understand her father’s PTSD.
The 17-year-old’s performance has been met with rave reviews as the film hits cinemas around the world.
The Independent has tipped McKenzie to have “an equally successful career” as Hollywood superstar Lawrence.
“As the daughter, McKenzie shows intelligence, steeliness and a maturity that belies her age.”
Washington Post says her performance as the “strong and brave” 13-year-old is “by every measure, the equal of Foster’s”.
The review goes onto say the young actress delivers “a startlingly confident performance.”
Variety compares the film to Garnik’s earlier movie Winter’s Bone in that it discovers “yet another young talent”.
The magazine says McKenzie “effortlessly conveys” the wide-eyed curiosity Tom shows to the world.
New York Times calls it a “sensitive, tightly checked performance” and that while as an actor she never “begs for your heart”, she does take it.
The Guardian meanwhile labels McKenzie’s performance “pitch perfect”.
The young Kiwi “combines the astonishing technical skills of a young Jennifer Lawrence with the wide-eyes naturalism of David (“Dai”) Bradley in Kes.
“Watching Leave No Trace, we feel as though we are watching her grow up before our eyes; her pain, courage and compassion are tangible and real.”
Rolling Stone magazine joins the praise calling her performance “dazzling-in-every-detail”.
McKenzie and Foster, the review says, “display a tender rapport that leaves no doubt about the sincerity of their connection”.
The Atlantic says it’s one of the best films of 2018 and “promises to make a star of McKenzie”.
Source: NZ Herald