Can you make a movie where the plot has three individuals blow up a dam as an attempt (at least partially) to help save the environment and which then watches as they deal with the fallout from those actions only to say that you're not really interested in dealing with an environmentalism discussion or consequences for the characters?
Dakota Fanning would tell you that Kelly Reichardt's latest movie, in Reichardt's mind anyway, is just that. When I sat down with Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard to discuss “Night Moves,” Fanning told me, “For her [Reichardt], this is not a movie about environmentalism or redemption or guilt or consequences, for her it's really a movie about three people and the choices that they make – good, bad, whatever.”
The characters in the film, as should be clear, operate outside the mainstream, and things don't go terribly smoothly for them. Whether it does so intentionally or not, “Night Moves” raises questions about if these people are in the right for their actions, and the characters do spend time thinking about it. Consequently my final question to Sarsgaard and Fanning revolved around the question of redemption – are the characters redeemed, and do they need to be?
Above, you have Fanning's response, and Sarsgaard followed more or less the same line of thinking. In his answer, Sarsgaard discussed the fact that since this wasn't a Hollywood movie, it wasn't necessarily important to answer that question in the film.
While Sarsgaard and Fanning seem to feel it wrong to judge their characters, Sarsgaard was quite clear that he does not approve of violence as a method of solving problems. Putting it rather bluntly when I asked about how far it's okay to go for an ideal, Sarsgaard stated, “I think you're not allowed to kill people.” He went on to say, “I'm not a believer that you sacrifice twelve to save the lives of a thousand.”
Watch the full video, because it truly is an interesting discussion and the answers offered by the actors are not what one would have thought.
Also starring Jesse Eisenberg, “Night Moves” opens in select theaters today.