First Cow

First Cow ★★★★

A gentle and peacefully tragic tale of friendship told with restraint, patience - A gorgeous film of American naturalism.

This film was a quiet pleasure to sit through with its soft visual aesthetic, the compact, minimalist and beautifully utilized aspect ratio, the lush Oregon setting, and the genuinely intriguing characters on display. It was an impressive display of quality across the board that was felt in every corner of the film.

The acting and the dialogues felt wonderfully natural, tasteful and at just the right dose. The director managed to hold down a very delicate and uniform atmosphere throughout the film and in how the cast behaved in it. It felt like a film that is under complete control, under a confident vision and approach.

The pleasant atmosphere, the pacing and the comfortably nearly imperceptible editing made for one of the smoothest films I've seen in recent memory. The added element of some suspense at the elements of the story that turn it into a tragedy was also handled with care and with a sensibility that kept it all in tune with the overarching feeling of the story. The whole thing being framed and situated in gorgeous natural locations on the frontier with a beautiful color palette and an immersive quality of production and costume design - it was simply a joy. It was pleasant to see how evocative these visuals were when considered next to the story, its themes of the frontier, of man in this supposedly new world and of learning to situate himself within it.

It was a simple story and the way it begins made the conclusion a thing directly foretold, so narratively it wasn't exactly earth-shattering or consciousness-altering. But still, it was done well enough to leave me completely satisfied and touched by it.

Tal liked these reviews