Trapped in a dead-end industrial town in Maine, two teenage best friends (The Place Beyond the Pines’ Emory Cohen and The Great Gatsby's Callan McAuliffe) take tragically different paths to realize their dream of making it to the big city, in this vividly detailed fiction feature debut from veteran documentary filmmakers Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly.
Beneath The Harvest Sky
Aron Gaudet, Gita Pullapilly
Dominic (Callan McAuliffe) and Casper (Emory Cohen) are restless teenagers stuck in the dying industrial town of Van Buren, Maine, with nothing much to do besides push old jalopies off cliffs, shoot potato guns and chase moose along the back roads at night. The boys dream of leaving Van Buren and moving to Boston, so they can catch the Sox whenever they please. But to do that they need money — and how they get money is where these best friends most obviously differ. Dominic spends the harvest working on a potato farm, while Casper falls into a drug-running scheme with his old man Clayton (Game of Thrones' Aidan Gillen), a gig that is just as likely to land him in jail as to help him escape.
Co-writers and directors Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly bring to Beneath the Harvest Sky, their fiction feature debut, an impressive background in documentary, and a dazzlingly high degree of sensitivity to adolescent frustrations. Their depiction of small-town life is vivid: the abandoned houses and open fields, the teenage pregnancies and embittered divorced parents, the good times and bad blood. Clayton's illegal enterprise is being quietly investigated by the Feds, and, unbeknownst to him, someone close to him has turned informant.
With its engrossing network of narrative
threads involving young loves, troubled
alliances, and terrible betrayals, Beneath
the Harvest Sky offers a feast of poignant
and engaging details. And its central performance
from Cohen — who made such an
impression at last year's Festival in The
Place Beyond the Pines — marks the arrival
of a fierce new talent.