Corporate salesman Steve Butler (Matt Damon) arrives in a rural town with his sales partner, Sue Thomason (McDormand). With the town having been hit hard by the economic decline of recent years, the two outsiders see the local citizens as likely to accept their company's offer, for drilling rights to their properties, as much-needed relief. What seems like an easy job for the duo becomes complicated by the objection of a respected schoolteacher (Holbrook) with support from a grassroots campaign led by another man (Krasinski) who counters Steve both personally and professionally.Written by
The high school gym shown at various points in the movie is actually the "Tiger Gym" located in downtown Apollo, PA. The Tiger Gym was formerly Apollo's high school, until the new one was built in Spring Church. Since then it has become a popular gym in the area. See more »
The brochure and poster talk about how fracking by the company, "Global..." will 'effect' (noun) the community; the correct spelling/usage is 'affect' (verb). "Effect" can also be a verb meaning produce, as in "effect a change"; and "affect" can be a noun meaning emotion, as in "affect was flat". See more »
I guess I'm lucky - lucky to be old enough to have a shot at dying with my dignity.
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Through most of the end credits, the camera zooms out to a wide shot of the town where the film takes place. See more »
Pastoral America and the search for natural energy
"Promised Land" is a movie for the present time in America. Natural gas, oil shale, oil and related explorations are becoming more common. The world's consumption of oil continues to leapfrog, as more and more one- time third world countries acquire some affluence. Energy prices continue to work their way up. Sources of natural energy that once were far too expensive to produce, now become economical. At the same times, many small farm communities continue to shrink, and most become poorer with few jobs and businesses to support the dwindling farm populations.
Into this setting, "Promised Land" gives us a story of two employees who move into a rural community to buy up the leases for natural gas exploration and possible production. It's a story about people doing their job in earnest, and about the people of a small town. The town is in rural Pennsylvania, but it could be anywhere in rural America. – as Matt Damon's character, Steve Butler says. And, the people of this community must weigh the promise of prosperity against unknown possible negative effects on their natural surroundings from drilling. There is an interesting twist in this story that comes out at the end.
The cast are all quite good. Besides Damon, Frances McDormand co-stars as his sidekick employee, Sue Thompson. John Krasinski is very smooth and believable as Dustin Noble. Rosemarie DeWitt plays Alice, the fifth- grade school teacher. Titus Welliver is Rob, the local guns and grocery story owner. Hal Holbrook, at 88 years of age, is the retired MIT scientist and volunteer high school teacher, Frank Yates. And, the many town folk who are extras add nicely to this story.
The scenic shots are something right out of Norman Rockwell's pastoral America. Damon and Krasinski wrote the screenplay for this film. They also co-produced it with director Gus Van Sant. The film moves at a steady pace that may be too slow for some people. Those who need the fast and furious frenzy of constant-action movies to get their adrenalin flowing are not likely to enjoy this film. But, for the rest of us, it's a nice story that the whole family can enjoy.
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