Eleven-year-old Atticus (Silas Yelich) and his mother Nicole (Lili Taylor) live a modest life off the grid in the woods of upstate New York. They do not need much to live on and can get by without electricity while finding a use for many things that people leave on the roadside. But the mother is ill, stubbornly refusing to accept any help, and when she is finally examined it is too late.
Returning from a birthday party one day Atticus finds a paramedic carrying her out of the house, and is left to fend for himself. One day, a man saves Atticus from a dangerous situation, who is also without a home, living as freely and independently as the boy's mother always dreamed of doing. They learn together just how much they have in common while joining forces on the open road of an uncertain future.
Director Tom Gilroy (Spring Forward) does a terrific job of creating entire sequences in which not one word is spoken, without losing any of the tension. At once moving and thrilling, The Cold Lands is a combination of a coming-of-age story and a road film, about freedom from social conventions, the untamed desire for adventure and the compromises made in order to live freely on the margins of American society.
Directed by Tom Gilroy, U.S.A., 2012, 100 mins.
Facets Film Dialogue:
Filmmaker Tom Gilroy will be here for a Q&A after the 7 and 9 pm screenings on Friday, May 23 and Saturday, May 24