There have been plenty of actors to make the great leap from the small screen to big screen and with plenty of success, but it is my feeling that John Krasinski will be one of the few that becomes a powerhouse player in Hollywood. His latest effort, which he co-wrote with co-star Matt Damon and teamed up with Damon’s friend and director of Damon’s breakout film, Good Will Hunting, Gus Van Sant. Promised Land is one movie that you will be able to go back and pinpoint as turning point in Krasiniski’s career and where Damon has gone from the player to the teacher.
This is the story of a big energy corporation looking to take the natural gas resources of a small farming town. The corporation’s representatives played perfectly by Damon and Frances McDormand are sent in to find land to lease for areas for fracking a dangerous and controversial means of extracting the natural gas from miles under the ground. Soon a local school teacher and retired “genius” begins raising questions and has the town very much concerned and it raises to another level when a small environmental group comes to town with it’s representative played by Krasinski. When he clearly has the town on his side Damon’s small town roots and conscience begin eating away at him. Then the bottom falls out and only one is left standing.
Having made his mark on the sit-com, The Office, Kransinski has clearly proved he is more than just a smart funny character on a popular sit-com, he’s now a true actor. His performance which begins very much playing into his comedy roots takes a quick and dramatic turn. There is no one better to walk Krasinski out of the office and into the Promised Land than Matt Damon. This being only second major screenplay, it is not unlikely that he could follow his co-stars footsteps and take home the golden statue on Oscar night (this would also give Damon his second writing Oscar).
With a nearly perfectly cast of supporting players from the perfectly placed Hal Holbrook to the always lovely Rosemarie DeWitt, Promised Land is a film that will have you feeling every emotion poured on the screen. With plenty of comedic moments to have you taken in early on, to the real emotions that can easily be identified with of the local towns folk.
The performance of the film that had my attention from the moment he appeared on screen was the legendary Hal Holbrook. His role as a man who loves his town and farm despite having had the opportunities escape, is one that you almost can’t take your eyes off of. Holbrook has one Oscar nomination to his credit and it wasn’t very long ago for the wonderful Into The Wild when he was a spry 83 years old. Now a perfectly aged 87 he might not only be looking at another well deserved nomination but he just may walk on that stage and take that coveted award in his hand and no doubt to an arousing applaud.