In the Dark

Unspoken Promises

Promised Land
Produced by Focus Features and Image Nation
Directed by Gus Van Sant
Screenplay by Matt Damon and John Krasinski from a story by David Eggers
Distributed by Focus Features


I thoroughly enjoyed Matt Damon’s latest movie, Promised Land.  It channels Frank Capra’s spirit, featuring little people caught in the toils of corporate skullduggery.  What’s more, it’s a work energized by Damon’s personal interest.  He’s not only performed the leading part but also written the screenplay along with his co-star John Krasinski.  The result is an unpretentious, low-budget work fitted out with a message about the dangers of fracking or, to be less slangy, hydraulic fracturing, a controversial high-tech method of accessing natural gas embedded in shale formations far below the earth’s surface.  To show his bona fides, Damon cast himself as a dim, stodgy corporate tool while generously giving the younger Krasinski the role of a cool, quicksilver environmentalist.  This is altogether admirable considering Damon’s star power.  Yet after I got home from the theater, I decided to find out more about fracking.  Doing so, I ran into some disillusioning facts.  It turns out fracking’s not the calamity the film claims.  Seems...

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