The Driftless Area

Synopsis: Pierre Hunter (Anton Yelchin), a bartender with unyielding optimism, returns to his tiny hometown after his parents' death. When he falls for the enigmatic Stella (Zooey Deschanel), Pierre is unknowingly pulled into a cat-and-mouse game that involves a duffel bag full of cash, a haphazard yet determined criminal (John Hawkes), and a mystery that will determine all of their fates. With Alia Shawkat, Frank Langella, Aubrey Plaza, and Ciarán Hinds. Zachary Sluser's film, based on the novel by Tom Drury, is a contemporary fable about the ways we struggle to control time and fate in a possibly predetermined universe.
Genre: Crime, Drama
Director(s): Zachary Sluser
Production: Bron Studios
  3 nominations.
95 min

- You got gas money?

- How much?

- Twenty bucks.

- Oh, I'm not going very far.

Twenty bucks.

Yeah, all right.

Flowers for a lady?

- Yeah.

- Figured as much.

What's a guy give a sh*t about flowers?

Some do, I know. It's all right.

I got them in Augustine,

then my car broke down.


You got that 20?

I figure it's the alternator,

so if you could just drop me off...

at the next town,

I'll go find a garage or something.

See? That's smart.

Good thing I came along.

Where you going?

A little place north of Chartrand.

I'm on my way down to San Antonio.

Helping my brother out.

He came into some money.

- How much?

- Thousands.

Tens of thousands anyway.

Found it in the car wash.

The car wash?

Yeah. So he tells me.

I didn't believe it either.

What is it?

Drug money?

Ill-gotten gains of some sort.

We know that much.

What if whoever left it wants it back?

That's what my brother's wondering.

But once he gets to San Antonio,

those bastards can't touch him.

- I thought he was in San Antonio.

- That's what I mean.

Why don't you just stop up the road

and I'll get out there?

No, thanks. This is fine.

You're going that way anyway.

Who in f*** are you to say

where I'm going?

It's just right up there.

And you can leave the plant.

Well, no. I'm not doing that.

You think I don't have women?

What do you know?

I got women in every corner of the globe.

Globes don't have corners.

F*** you, whore.

Give it.


What time is it?

Around midnight.

I could come back.

No, no, no. Come on in.

I was just sleeping.

I've been walking in the rain.

So, what happened to your boyfriend,

the Canadian guy?

He went back to Canada.


I remember how you used to play.

In high school.

I would listen to you

outside of the music room.

I just had the strangest dream.

Well, one time, I did that.

And I remember thinking...

that the sound of it was so mournful.

And I made fun of myself

for thinking that word.

Because all I meant was that I liked it.

Do you wanna hear my dream?


Did things...

work out the way you planned?

Back then, I mean.

I didn't plan.

I don't plan now, hardly.

Well, things did not work out

the way I planned.

I should plan more.


Do you want me to play you something?


If people really live on

in our memories...

mare they aware of it?

And wouldn't it be kind of repetitive?

Pierre Hunter and I grew up in

the Driftless Area...

in the town of Shale.

They say the last of the glaciers

steered around the Driftless Area...

flattened the rest of the Midwest...

but left these rocks

and rivers and ravines untouched.

Not the greatest place to farm,

but good for bow-hunting...

gambling, writing poems on rocks.

You know, primal things.

Pierre didn't quite fit in,

but this never seemed to bother him.

We didn't know each other that well

until one time in high school...

when I had to deliver some bad news.

Rebecca's breaking up with you.

She wanted you to be the first to know.

But you knew before I did.

Well, you're among the first.


There is no why, Pierre.

It is what it is.

What does that mean?

Of course it is what it is.

If it wasn't, it wouldn't be.

Well, it's a very popular thing to say.

I never left Shale, but Pierre did.

For a while anyway.

He went to the university

a couple hundred miles from here.

He was in a string quartet

first semester...

but there were creative differences.

His parents died in his third year.

First his mother...

and then his father.

When Pierre was 24,

he was broke so he came home.

He had a bachelor's degree in science

and a job as a bartender.

What happened to Pierre

is not a normal story.

It ends in violence

and begins with a mistake.

To understand,

you need to know about three people.

One is Shane.

He was mixed up with a car rental-slash-

methamphetamine operation...

down in Chartrand.

He was called

an itinerant career criminal...

as if that's something you train for...

which I guess you might.

The second person is Stella.

One time when we were drinking...

Pierre asked me, "What if there was

a language with only one word in it?"

Maybe the word is Stella.

Yeah, I don't know

where Stella came from-.

No one did.

But she knew Tim Geer somehow.

Tim was.... What was Tim?

A hermit, I guess.

Lived on the outskirts of Shale.

Now, you could say that Pierre

fell for the wrong woman...

or you could say, "What the hell?"

Depends on who you're asking.

What in the hell?




I'm just a poor, wayfaring stranger

And I'm traveling

through this world of woe

And there's no sickness, toil or danger

In the land to which I go

Good evening, miss.

Do you mind?

No, no. Go ahead. I've been expecting you.

Do you know me?

Not personally. I just had a feeling.

I've been in a fire.

Yeah, I see. How did you get out?

I don't remember.

Did you get out?

Well, I'm here, aren't I?

Yes, it would appear that you are.

All right. Here, let's see. Come on.

You give me your hands.

You have to help me.

See that fire?

I made it.

It's a good one.

I think somebody made you a fire too.

Does that make a difference?

Big difference.

This was my aunt's house.

She used to go down there all the time.

And just stand and look at the lake.

I never really knew why.

She made me promise never to live here.

These were my aunt's.

Not the latest items from Paris...

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Zachary Sluser

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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