First Cow

First Cow ★★★½

“We’ll go soon. I’ve got you.”

Could have had “First Cow, first review of the year” if I was capable of planning! Kelly Reichardt is aggressively expert in this multi-award winning period drama. No concessions were made; First Cow feels like precisely the film the director wanted to make. 

While I wish it had landed closer to meditative and further from tedious, it’s clear that every indulgent shot, every lingering scene, was completely deliberate, and I respect the hell out of that. Personally, I could have done with a twenty minute trim, and perhaps the invention of artificial lighting because my astigmatism did not abide by a natural set.

A wonderful example of close male friendship, the film is pleasantly devoid of the most common guy-pal tropes of love interest rivalry and unhealthy competition. Both leads are perfect charming, though not as charming as the titular star of the production, Evie the cow!