Cozy, a thirtyish Florida housewife bored to tears with her drudging life, runs away with Lee, a young loser in search of thrills. After accidentally shooting a man, Cozy and Lee try to go on the lam as every outlaw couple before them—without quite ever getting it right.
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Reichardt's debut feature finds a lonely married Florida woman craving escape from the life she finds herself in and after a mishap involving a possible murder takes to the road with a like minded loser. What sets her debut apart from the scores of similar themed films is its' authentic feel, lack of glamour and for that matter lack of a road as their journey halts fairly quickly. Solid debut.
It's a debut with quirky appeal, like a bus stop oddball who tells rambling stories that engage, not because they're interesting but because they're told with unsolicited candor. While I agree it's more of a footnote than a highlight in Reichardt's brilliant filmography, I found myself pondering her choices long after Cozy had driven off the screen.
River of Grass feels somehow like the ultimate quintessential 90s American indie. Unfortunately, it pales in comparison to the movie it perhaps most resembles, Jon Jost's Frameup, which likewise features two decisively hapless wayward criminals on the road and a somewhat whiny (though to these ears entirely endearing) voice-over care of the female lead. Reichart's debut is commendable for its formal integrity.
I'm surprised Reichardt has made such an offbeat but melancholically funny Bonny/Cride-ish road movie against tranquilly meditative films she made recently. This movie has odd elements as her film like long narration representing protagonist's annui, excessive beats of jazz dram & loose humor. But also has her obsession with repression of woman, wasteful journey & infinity called prison in America. Impressive debut.
A different side to Kelly Reichardt. Her 'road movie without the road... love story without the love... and crime story without the crime' didn't quite hit me as hard as some of her more recent directorial efforts . But it's okay because Cozy's final actions and the Hal Hartley-esque hilarity elevates it in its own unique way.
It's shoe string in many ways, at times sketchy, but that couldn't be further from the point if you tried. In some ways this is the most magnificent of all Reichardt's work. It's her most chaotic - a necessary chaos that is human. It's urgency of aesthetic and understanding of the bleak mundane and tragedy of every day life is so perfectly conceived I feel like every film should be made like this or not at all.