First Cow

First Cow ★★★½

2020 Top Ten

Kelly Reichardt is my favorite female American director, and not seeing Old Joy (2006), Wendy and Lucy (2008), or Meek’s Cutoff (2010) is a disservice to your movie viewing experience. She has the hiker’s knowledge of the American Northwest and all the shadows and ambience that come with it. Most of her movies follow the quintessential drifter to the tempo of a slow-to-the-draw western.

The tempo might not be for everyone, but Reichardt’s luscious visions draw you in like museum paintings, and you want to get closer.

From forest scavenging, to building a fire, to fireside conversation, to milking a cow - this is essentially the plot. Yet, within the first 15 minutes, you realize Reichardt is going for sensation over linear narrative. 

Be patient and enjoy the peaceful Oregonian backcountry. The characters do their work next.

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