First Cow

First Cow ★★★★½

If you’re going to survive under frontier scarcity capitalism, you’re going to need a partner. That partnership doesn’t have to have the sweet strains of same-gender domestication, but it won’t hurt.

So goes an honest story about heisting a better future in America, and making a better proto-hipster pastry in Oregon.

By telling us the fate of our friend-protagonists in the preface, the film foregoes any artificial suspense, making the dreaded outcome a gentle, discreet, inescapable truth. And this, in turn, makes the whole movie feel more organic and honest and kind.

Wonderfully Reichardtian, a prime example of why Kelly Reichardt is America’s most gracious and humanist filmmaker.

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