In 1845, three families hire the wild-eyed, bushy-bearded Meek (Bruce Greenwood) to lead them over Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. Trekking through parched lands and running dangerously low on water, the group begins to lose faith in their tall-tale-telling guide, further questioning his instincts when they encounter a Native American wanderer.
Like her earlier, incomparable Pacific Northwest–set films Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy, Kelly Reichardt’s sublime Western explores American myths, precarious safety nets, and the kindness—and cruelty—of strangers. Magnificently shot by Chris Blauvelt, Meek’s Cutoff reteams this essential director with deft screenwriter Jon Raymond and Wendy and Lucy star Michelle Williams, perhaps the toughest young bride in a calico dress you’ll ever see. –NYFF
Kelly Reichardt is a screenwriter and film director working within American indie cinema. Her debut film River of Grass was released in 1994. It was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards, as well as the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. In 1999, she completed her sophomore feature, Ode, based on Herman Raucher’s novel Ode to Billie Joe. Next, she made two short films, Then a Year, made in 2001, and Travis, which deals with the Iraq War, in 2004. Most of her films are regarded to be part of the minimalist movement in films.
In 2006, she completed Old Joy, based on the short story by Jon Raymond, starring Daniel London and singer-songwriter Will Oldham as two friends who reunite for a camping trip to the Cascades and Bagby Hot Springs, near Portland, Oregon. The film won awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Rotterdam International Film Festival and Sarasota Film Festival. Neil Kopp won the Producer’s Award at the 2007 Independent Spirit Awards… read more
It both the movie's biggest strength and weakness that it's highly concentrated on the actual chunk of the journey we're seeing. Information coming from outside this chunk is kept at minimum, so we're led to identify the characters with the individual snapshots we see of them, thus keeping movements in a group in a desperate situation in focus. Unfortunately, this spell was nearly broken in the second half, when one lady became the indian's ``friend'', and another was constantly freaked out with glaring eyes. I also liked the presentation of how the characters are dealing with their growing anxiety.
"What does the earth say? I don't know. What does the sky say? I don't know. Who are these people? I have no idea. This still might be just a dream. I'm not sure. If only my brother were here I would have someone to talk to. Brother moon, you're very quiet tonight. You're no help at all." - Meek’s Cutoff’'s Mysterious Indian, Translated, Slate.com
And more year-end lists from New York and the Guardian. Plus: Sony vs the New Yorker.
"A movie out of time and yet distinctly of ours as well, Meek's Cutoff appears in theaters as if in rebuke to our current cinema," begins Elbert
This is not your father's Western. One of the things I like about the poster for Kelly Reichardt’s new film, Meek’s Cutoff, is
"Meek's Cutoff is an act of inversion, a western that reverses the genre's traditional forms and dynamics to create something new and startling
Put on your best costume jewelry: this evening, as every New York cinephile knows, the 48th New York Film Festival kicks off at Lincoln Center
0639 Caves of Forgotten Dreams (Werner Herzog, USA) If you’ve been waiting for a truly creative, for a truly auteur use
Notes on some of the most interesting competition titles that screened at the Venice Film Festival this year, which wraps with its award
"This is a film whose story turns on one character's offer to repair another's shoe, the implications of this small act weighted so as
This is it, the big final round. You can browse all the previous lineup entries for this year's Toronto International Film Festival (September
Voir un western débarquer à notre époque est quelque chose de précieux pour les amateurs du genre tellement ça se fait rare pour l’instant. Mais voir un western réalisé par une femme a de quoi surprendre… read review
Cet anti western est certainement le plus abouti du genre. Entre son esthétique, son austérité, sa sobriété, le film de Kelly Reichardt offre enfin à la conquête de l’ouest son réalisme Contemplatif… read review