The dense green foliage that surrounds the man and his daughter in “Leave No Trace” seems to hold them as if in sheltering arms. It is a blissful, serene scene, one set to the sounds of human movement and the familiar natural buzzing, chirping and whirring. The tall mossy trees and carpet of ferns suggest that it’s the Pacific Northwest, somewhere deep in the woods. Father and daughter seem to be camping — there are tarps as well as a fire pit, though no car or other people in sight — but then the girl sits on a plastic milk crate and the two settle into the site they call home.
The director Debra Granik has a gift for cinematic spaces that are vibrantly, palpably alive, and for putting you in places, whether modest homes or the great outdoors, that make you feel as if you’re standing right alongside her characters.