Into the Forest (USA 2013/2014)

Director:

Patricia Rozema

Writer:

Jean Hegland

 

Executive Producer:

Haroon (Boon) Saleem, Kelly Bush Novak,

 

Sriram Das

Producer:

Ellen Page, Karine Martin

Associate Producer:

Kristina Sorensen

 

Cast:

 

Ellen Page

Nell

Evan Rachel Wood

Eva

Max Minghella

Eli

Michael Eklund

Stan

Callum Keith Rennie

Robert

Wendy Crewson

Mom

Brittany Willacy

Gigi

Bethany Brown

Gabs

 

(Complete Cast & Crew)

Into the Forest

Genre:

Drama

Runtime:

101 minutes

Language:

English

Budget:

less than US $10,000,000

Filming dates:

28th July - 29th August 2014

Filming locations:

Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Rating:

14A (Canada) / R (USA)

World premiere:

12th September 2015 (Toronto International Film Festival)

Company / Studio:

DAS Films, Rhombus Media, Bron Studios, Celsius Entertainment

Official website:

-

IMDb website:

www.imdb.com/title/tt2625810/

DVD premiere:

-


Downloads:

 

English Production Notes (Canada)

(PDF Document, 0.99 MB)

Download


Plot:

In the not-too-distant future, two ambitious young women, Nell and Eva, live with their father in a lovely but run-down home up in the mountains somewhere on the West Coast. Suddenly the power goes out; no one knows why. No electricity, no gasoline. Their solar power system isn't working. Over the following days, the radio reports a thousand theories: technical breakdowns, terrorism, disease and uncontrolled violence across the continent.

Then, one day, the radio stops broadcasting. Absolute silence.

Step by ominous step, everything that Nell, a would-be academic, and Eva, a hard working contemporary dancer, have come to rely on is stripped away: parental protection, information, food, safety, friends, lovers, music - all gone. They are faced with a world where rumor is the only guide, trust is a scarce commodity, gas is king and loneliness is excruciating.

To battle starvation, invasion and despair, Nell and Eva fall deeper into a primitive life that tests their endurance and bond. Ultimately, the sisters must work together to survive and learn to discover what the earth will provide. They find comfort in cherishing the memories of the happy family life they once shared. The natural world, art & memory sustain them. But for how long?

Into the Forest, a raw and elegant "realistic fable," explores the beauty that can come of painful beginnings, the denial we resort to in a world come unhinged and the strength that we find when our plans for our lives have been obliterated.

Awards

  • Special Jury Prize (15th Courmayeur Noir in Festival, 13th December 2015)
  • Achievement in Overall Sound (Canadian Screen Award, Canadian Screen Awards, 13th March 2016, Nomination)
  • Black Tulip Award (Jury Prize, 32nd Imagine Film Festival, 23rd April 2016)

Facts:

  • The project marks Ellen Page’s first feature film producer credit.
  • The book “Into The Forest” by Jean Hegland has been translated in 12 languages and published in many countries.
  • John Malkovich was in talks for the role of Stan, but eventually dropped out.
  • The movie received $2,593,683 in financing from Telefilm Canada.

Quotes:

  • "I’m so excited. It’s a really intense film. I feel like I’ve never seen a movie like this. It’s starring two young women. We’re the heroes of the film. We’re taking care of ourselves, and we’re warriors in it. So, I think it’s really refreshing to see a film with two very strong leading ladies taking care of themselves. It takes place in the not-so-distant future. Everything is ending - there’s no water, there’s no gas or electricity. Life as you know it just ceases to be." — actress Evan Rachel Wood on the movie (Source: www.refinery29.com)
     
  • "She’s absolutely wonderful. I loved every minute of filming. As intense as the movie is, we actually laughed a lot and had a really good time. She’s one of those people that can turn it on and off. It’s kind of scary how quickly she can do it - she’s literally laughing one second, and then the next she’s in character. Her whole face changes. She morphs into what she’s doing, and it’s really fun to watch. But, we really took care of each other. We had to go to deep, vulnerable places in the film, and we were always there holding and hugging each other - like real sisters helping each other through the whole process. We got really close. We knew we were going to do the film a year before it was made, so we spent as much time as possible together so we could really bond and so the relationship was believable. She’s one of my closest friends now." — actress Evan Rachel Wood on working with Ellen Page (Source: www.refinery29.com)
     
  •  “Ellen, for a month and a half, was my sister. We were in life or death situations together, we were picking each other up and holding each other and getting each other through the day… And then it’s just over, and you’ll never see these characters again. At the end of the shoot, I just lost it.” — actress Evan Rachel Wood on working with Ellen Page (Source: afterellen.com)
     
  • “It was her passion for the book that made me trust her. She had a profound understanding of the story.” — author Jean Heglands on actress Ellen Page as the driving force behind the movie (Source: pressdemocrat.com)
     
  •  “It’s so new. We don’t have a clip, I don’t even know quite how to describe it yet… I thank Ellen Page for getting this ball rolling; she’s the producer on it.” — Director Patricia Rozema on the movie (Source: TIFF 2015 press conference)
     
  • “She found the book, she asked me to write, I wrote, she loved the script, we found the money, I directed. During the shoot she was pretty much the actor, she was very focused. She also found Evan Rachel Wood. There was a song we wanted by Cat Power, we couldn’t get it, it was too expensive. Ellen gets on the phone, we got it.” — Director Patricia Rozema on Ellen Page who served as a producer and got the film off the ground (Source: blacksheepreviews.com)
     
  • "The book was so beautifully written, compelling, suspenseful and deeply, deeply emotional that I thought it would be something that I'd really like to see on film." — actress Ellen Page on the novel the movie is based on (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "During the actual process of shooting, Ellen really wanted to concentrate on her performance and put her trust in Aaron Gilbert and myself. But in completing the film, she has very much been a force in terms of the direction of the editing, and in shaping the release of the film." — producer Niv Fichman on Ellen Page's first producorial venture (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "It's a piece of speculative fiction about survival. Even if the worst happens, short of death, if your head is in the right place, you can survive. I wanted to convey the fact that information would be the hardest thing to find and the hardest thing to live without. The fact that rumors would be all you have when all forms of energy are gone, would be very difficult for me and for most of us. It's more character-based and psychologically motivated than most post-apocalyptic stories. [...] Not to get too grand about it, I have thought that it's also about the Buddhist concept of detachment, of letting go." — director Patricia Rozema on the movie's vision of the future (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "I think a lot of the things in this film aren't too far off from where we're headed, which is a scary thought. The film underscores the importance of not taking things for granted, and pushes the audience to hopefully reexamine themselves and how they relate to the world around them." — actress Evan Rachel Wood on the movie's scenario (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "I hadn't been that moved by a script in maybe ten years. I loved it because it really challenged me and I had to put down the script and walk away and really think about what I had just read, what it meant, and how I was supposed to feel. That really excited me." — actress Evan Rachel Wood on the script (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "The film and its story really get into what it signifies to truly live outside all of the elusive things and expectations we have for life. I'd like for audiences to think about what it means to be a human being in this world, what surviving looks like, and what existence actually means to them." — actress Ellen Page on what compelled her to want to tell the story (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "These actors are all as authentic as can be. They would hesitate with anything that seems remotely stagey or setup, and I love that about them because I felt that this story especially needed to be without artifice, as humble and true as possible." — director Patricia Rozema on the cast (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "Patricia is exceptional. She has this combination of being incredibly meticulous and so attentive to every detail, but also leaves you feeling absolutely free to explore and discover. We shot this film in a short period of time, and it was remarkable to see her consistently so fantastic and emotionally connected to the story." — actress Ellen Page on director Patricia Rozema (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "Working with Patricia has been a joy on every level and I couldn't imagine doing this film with anyone else. She is fiercely intelligent and open to whatever suggestion you have and really respects the actor's process, especially for a film like this where you have to be so vulnerable." — actress Evan Rachel Wood on director Patricia Rozema (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "Ellen has a rare combination of quiet power and fragility. And she's so damn cool. I never once had to cut around inauthenticity. I think she's one of the best actors of our time." — director Patricia Rozema on actress Ellen Page (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "Evan is fierce and urgent and entirely committed. There's one scene - I don't want to spoil it for you by saying what happens - where she screams so intensely that she broke all the capillaries around her eyes! I only did one take. And cried after I said cut." — director Patricia Rozema on actress Evan Rachel Wood (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "I haven't had an experience with an actor like that in a really long time, where there's just such fluidity. Evan is so unbelievably present and wildly committed — she really just blew my mind every single day because she's so extraordinary." — actress Ellen Page on working with Evan Rachel Wood (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "Getting the chance to work with someone you admire so much and respect makes you feel safe as an actor. When we got in the room and started acting, I was just blown away by how present she was and how quickly she could turn it on and off." — actress Evan Rachel Wood on working with Ellen Page (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "This experience has been rigorous, and very collaborative. We've all bonded in a pretty intense way because it's a film that requires us to explore a lot of different emotions." — actor Max Minghella on playing alongside Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "She is a born reader, hungry for knowledge. She's kind of lonely and needs to connect with her sister, but can't because Eva is so very focused on her art." — director Patricia Rozema on Ellen Page's character Nell (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "In the screenplay, I wrote that Eva floats in mind, body and spirit. She is a dancer, and that's all she wants to think about. She doesn't have the same urge as Nell to connect. She is very self-contained." — director Patricia Rozema on Evan Rachel Wood's character Eva (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "Max's music is simultaneously intelligent and wrenchingly emotional. He rides that very difficult line between over-playing a moment and heightening it."  — director Patricia Rozema on composer Max Richter (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "Into The Forest is a fascinating puzzle of a project, both philosophical and deeply emotional. Looking at the texture of the narrative and it's setting, I chose a hybrid acoustic and electronic palette of muted colors. The intense story telling in the film is embedded in abstract analogue drones, reflecting the unknown landscape the characters inhabit, while the instrumental music drives the story forward, articulating the narrative architecture. It was a pleasure to be part of this fascinating voyage of discovery." — composer Max Richter on the movie (Source: official press kit)
     
  • "To the naked eye it looks like she's doing nothing, and then you look at the footage and the level of detail is incredible. So many actors are most alive when they're sad, or angry or funny - but she can portray every one of those emotions with equal conviction. She has a thousand colours to her and they're all genuine. [...] I can throw 20 notes at Ellen and she can weave them in. She can keep competing challenges in her mind and then feel. It's a beautiful skill. Not to be too grandiose, but I think she's the voice of a generation. There's something about her that speaks to young women who want to be open and feeling and very strong and capable.” — director Patricia Rozema on Ellen's acting skills (Source: nowtoronto.com)
     
  • “Ellen is very understated, and over several takes, the performance grows and refines. Evan was different. She starts bigger and then gets smaller, so I had to balance them out and put them in the same movie. There's a thousand ways to act well. It's my job to make sure they act well in the same way.” — director Patricia Rozema on Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood as an acting team (Source: nowtoronto.com)
     
  • "It really was the trees [...] It was the most obvious place in the country to shoot because of the size of those trees. We needed them to literally inhabit people." — director Patricia Rozema on her motivation to film scenes for Into the Forest in the lush wilderness near Campbell River (Source: www.timescolonist.com)
     
  • "They had a whole set of jokes and camaraderie that sisters can have, so that was nice" — director Patricia Rozema on Page and Wood, who spent time hanging out in Los Angeles, talking and behaving like real sisters before shooting began (Source: www.timescolonist.com)
     
  • “It’s a very realistic portrayal of two sisters that have kind of lost everything through the collapse of society. They live out in the middle of nowhere, so it’s just about their survival story and how it affects their relationship and their sanity. I think me and Ellen are on top of our acting games in it…if you like good acting and proper strong roles for women, then you’ll like it." — actress Evan Rachel Wood on the movie (Source: intothegloss.com)

Press comments:

  • "The performances by the principal actresses play a big part in whether Into the Forest works or not, and so it’s an enormous credit to Page and Wood that many of the scenes play as well as they do. Page steals much of the spotlight due to the nature of her character, a more playful, silly, and outwardly emotional person. As an actor she’s already remarkably charming, but as Nell she makes her as endearing as possible without being overly cute about it [...] Fantastic - Set in an imaginable, only slightly futuristic apocalypse, Into the Forest is a compelling portrait of a sisterly bond in the wake of an existential crisis." (4.5 out of 5) — Darren Ruecker, We Got This Covered
     
  • "Page and Wood are terrific together, with all the symbiosis and friction expected of close siblings, but Nell’s and Eva’s interior lives are regrettably thin. As with her 1999 Jane Austen adaptation “Mansfield Park,” Rozema has an attraction to literary material, but despite her evident intelligence and sensitivity, she lacks the facility to bring it to specific cinematic life. Connecting the incidents in Hegland’s book gives “Into the Forest” plenty of dramatic kick, but the film leaves the impression that the characters’ full selves remain stubbornly on the page, as thoughts not translated into action." — Scott Tobias, Variety
     
  • "At times troubling and even frustrating (people aren't always likeable in these situations), this intimately observed portrait of two sisters finding strength in each other is a deeply moving testament to the nature of what remains of our identity when all of the noise and modern conveniences of the world are stripped away." (8 out of 10) — Robert Bell, Exclaim!
     
  • "Into the Forest succeeds on so many levels. It is the most sensuously filmed I have seen this year. Cinematographer Daniel Grant’s work is accomplished, menacing and breath-taking. Director Patricia Rozema has a history of bringing out the best in actresses. Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood sky-rocket. They bring out the best in each other in two very demanding roles with intensity, fervour and love. I was completely mesmerized watching these very talented performers." — George Kozera, MrWillWong
     
  • "Based on the Jean Hegland novel, Into the Forest is the first theatrical feature from Canadian filmmaker Patricia Rozema since 2008, and while it isn’t exactly a full-on return to form, it’s a well acted, gorgeously shot, and often interesting take on a rather tired and clichéd sort of post-apocalyptic fable. [...] It’s not perfect, but it’s a fine addition to the usually testosterone driven post-apocalyptic genre." — Andrew Parker, Toronto Film Scene
     
  • "Ellen Page does an admirable job of playing someone trying to make the best out of a bad situation while Evan Rachel Wood coolly portrays a diva. The perspective of the crisis never goes beyond the two girls which results in the audience being solely invested in them. [...] Filmmaker Patricia Rozema makes effective use of out of focus imagery to indicate an unwanted presence and cleverly shifts the framing to emphasize the emotional trauma a character is experiencing. If the pacing of the opening act had been maintained throughout Rozema would have crafted a tense thriller; however, the story drags on like catastrophe being depicted." (3 out of 5) — Trevor Hogg, Live For Films
     
  • "Page and Wood’s comfort around one another is truly remarkable; in the film’s clear standout sequence, Page bathes a nude Wood as she trembles like a leaf on a tree. Their verisimilitude as siblings suffers a bit from odd miscasting — there’s no way that Page is studying for her SATs — as well as the fact that Page and Wood don’t look like they could possibly share any DNA. For the most part, though, it’s easy to overlook this by virtue of their true-blue intimacy with one another." (B) — Charles Bramesco, Indiewire
     
  • "As a parable of resilience, the film is only as persuasive as one’s willingness to believe it. The performances help. Rennie could be any earnest father as he tries to protect his daughters and dies cutting wood for them. Page, playing headstrong Nell, is a tough fighter. Wood, radiant as a dancer who rehearses to her metronome, survives the extreme conditions and her own obsessional fantasies." — David D'Arcy, ScreenDaily

    "Into the Forest is earnest, earthy, and a little bit silly, which is not an unwholesome combination. It’s also excellently acted by Page and Wood, neither of whom ever quite look as ragged as eight months off the grid would imply but still inhabit their roles with believable love and affection for one another. Rozema has spent the last decade or so lost in the industrial forest that swallows up Canadian auteurs; now, it looks as if she’s come out the other side." — Adam Nayman, Cinema Scope
     
  • "Into the Forest is therefore also a nail-biter of suspense asking if or when these two young girls will die. Starvation, boredom, stir-crazed lunacy, or uninvited guests could all supply this end and many come very close to doing exactly that. The journey is nuanced and subtle, though, just like its science-fiction premise. So don’t expect a thrill a minute. I think the slow pace, despite its usually active subject matter, tripped up many people because inappropriate laughter and walkouts occurred throughout the TIFF screening I attended. Conversely, I appreciated the gradual burn and the intelligence utilized to reject the appeal of going bigger. Personal conflict is more attuned to what I’d face in these circumstances than Mad Max spectacle." (B) — Jared Mobarak, The Film Stage
     
  • "Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood star as sisters who suddenly find their small little home in the woods thrust into darkness, and silence, as the power grid fails across North America. It doesn’t really matter why any of that happens–the film is really about what the sisters do next, and that’s what makes Into The Forest so fresh and exciting. The film nurtures their story, sows doubt, and then reaps the consequences with an ending that feels right on every level. While I can’t speak to the film’s success as an adaptation of the book, its a joy to watch." (3.5 out of 4) — W. Andrew Powell, Cinema Scope
     
  • "Into the Forest is the most insane movie I've seen in years, and I read the book. [...] If only the film were stronger. Its anti-technology message and epiphany is too over-the-top. It detracts from how perfect and believable Ellen and Evan are as sisters in crisis. They're two of the best actresses of their peer group, but this adaptation doesn't do them or the book justice. All it needed to do was pick a genre. Horror? Suspense? A relationship drama?" — Joanna Adams, Lainey Gossip
     
  • "Despite strong performances from Page and Evan Rachel Wood as sisters struggling for survival, Patricia Rozema’s adaptation of Jean Hegland’s popular novel struggles to grip [...] the problem with Rozema’s adaptation: their relationship isn’t that compelling. It’s revealed in clunky fashion through home movies, that Nell and Eva’s mother died not long ago of an unnamed disease. Their grief registers, yet the characters remain underdeveloped as people worth investing in. That’s not to discredit the work done by Page and Wood, both of whom go as deep as they can go with Rozema’s surface-level handling of the material (she also wrote the screenplay). Their sisterly bond is undeniable; it’s too bad that as individuals, they never manage to ring clear." (2 out of 5) — Nigel M Smith, The Guardian
     
  • "The actresses inhabit a wholly believable sibling dynamic, with Eva needing more nurturing than her sister and only really drawing nourishment from her dance sessions — beautiful episodes of abstract movement choreographed by Crystal Pite. Page, watchful and worried, carries responsibility on her shoulders without bitterness. [...] The Bottom Line: A high-caliber survival film focused on familial bonds over genre scares." — John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter
     
  • "Maybe the biggest surprise as I knew the least about it — is Patricia Rozema's Into the Forest. [...] What Rozema created is the image of a welcoming forest, of the possibility of a retreat and a new beginning, the beginning of a home. Forests were the beginnings of civilization. Once people left the caves they started to build shelters/homes with wood. When they hit the deserts, they invented monotheism (think of all the prophets who have their visions in the desert) and air-conditioning, the ultimate rebellion against nature. These two women take the next step that we all have to take sooner than later. Thank you, Patricia, for tying our laces!" — Jörn Weisbrodt, Luminato Festival
     
  • "Ellen Page (in her first starring role since Whip It) and Evan Rachel Wood are superb, particularly the latter in a couple of devastating scenes. Outside some moments of clumsiness at the beginning thanks to some goofy next generation tech, Into the Forest unfolds confidently. Whether it sticks the landing, it’s up to you to decide, but it’s a hell of a ride. Four soon-to-be-roasted prairie dogs." — Jorge Ignacio Castillo, Prairie Dog
     
  • "Watching her work here and in “Freeheld,” one notices something about Ellen Page—she’s always remarkably present. You can see her listening, thinking and responding to her fellow actors and the situations that confront her. She doesn’t seem forced. Wood is typically strong as well (she’s an underrated actress), but it’s Page’s journey from what almost feels like a teenager to the de facto leader of the house that I find the most interesting. Still, “Into the Forest” remains a near-miss despite the strong work by its two leads as, and this could be a flaw of the source material, it starts to feel unfocused and directorially thin. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if other people see enough in these two performances to feel otherwise." — Brian Tallerico, Roger Ebert.com
     
  • "As a pair of leads very much carrying the thing—with an appearance from the sympathetic Max Minghella—Page and Wood are completely capable. You might never have imagined them as siblings before, but their cut glass cheekbones and steady gazes feel entirely sisterly. [...] Though the seasons are oddly unchanging and there’s a little head-scratching logic in the last reel, the film provides a compellingly fresh addition to a growing End Of Days cinematic subgroup." — Carsten Knox, Halifaxbloggers

Release Dates:
 

Country

Date

Festival / Event / Location / Comment

Website

Canada

10th - 20th Sep 2015

Toronto International Film Festival / World premiere

tiff.net

Canada

17th - 24th Sep 2015

Atlantic Film Festival / Halifax

atlanticfilm.com

Canada

19th - 27th Sep 2015

Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival

cinefest.com

Canada

23rd Sep - 4th Oct 2015

Calgary International Film Festival

calgaryfilm.com

Canada

24th Sep - 9th Oct 2015

Vancouver International Film Festival

viff.org

South Korea

1st - 10th Oct 2015

Busan International Film Festival

biff.kr

Spain

9th - 18th Oct 2015

Sitges Film Festival / Barcelona

sitgesfilmfestival.com

Canada

5th - 8th Nov 2015

South Western International Film Festival

swiff.ca

Italy

8th - 13th Dec 2015

Courmayeur Noir in Festival

noirfest.com

Canada

8th - 17th Jan 2016

Canada's Top Ten Film Festival

tiff.net

USA

24th Jan 2016

Movies on the Mississippi

hubhospice.com

Canada

5th - 14th Feb 2016

Victoria Film Festival

victoriafilmfestival.com

Canada

7th - 11th Feb 2016

Available Light Film Festival

yukonfilmsociety.com

Turkey

18th - 28th Feb 2016

!f Istanbul Independent Film Festival

ifistanbul.com

Canada

24th Feb 2016

Landmark Theatre, St. Catharines, Ontario

brocku.ca

Canada

25th - 28th Feb 2016

Kingston Canadian Film Festival

kingcanfilmfest.com

Portugal

26th Feb - 6th Mar 2016

Festival Internacional de Cinema do Porto

fantasporto.com

Sweden

3rd - 6th Mar 2016

Stockholm Feminist Film Festival

sthlmfemfilm.se

Switzerland

11th - 19th Mar 2016

Festival International de Films de Fribourg

fiff.ch

Canada

18th - 20th Mar 2016

Cinema CNC Film Festival

 

USA

1st - 3rd Apr 2016

See the North / IFC Center, New York

ifccenter.com

Belgium

29th Mar - 10th Apr 2016

Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival

bifff.net

Netherlands

14th - 24th Apr 2016

Imagine Film Festival

imaginefilmfestival.nl

China

16th - 23rd Apr 2016

Beijing International Film Festival

bjiff.com

USA

20th - 26th May 2016

Chicago Critics Film Festival

chicagofilmcritics.org

Canada

3rd Jun 2016

Theatrical release

 

USA

23rd Jun 2016

DirecTV release

 

USA

23rd Jul 2016

Limited theatrical release / New York, Los Angeles

 

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