First Cow

First Cow ★★★★

An unlikely friendship and some crafty cow-milking leads to a lucrative biscuit-baking business in Kelly Reichardt's First Cow.

Cow's compelling central friendship take a short while to form, but the film's pedestrian pacing and long, lingering takes are Reichardt trademarks I've more than familiarised myself with over her previous work. For me, First Cow felt like her most absorbing film to date. Its beautifully shot, with one particularly striking scene of a camera tracking a queue line, whilst positioned at waist height - I can't for the life of me tell you what the camera angle was though. My A-level Media Studies education is failing me.

The story itself may be super simplistic, but I was really drawn into it, watching a baker (named Cookie. You can't make this stuff up) and his accomplice milk everything for all its worth, so to speak. The tense third act left me waiting for the inevitable, but ended up surprising me by just how moving it was.

The way in which the townsfolk flocked to the market to snap up one of Cookie's cakes mirrored my own personal experience of queuing up at the crack of dawn outside Dominique Ansel's in SoHo for a scrumptious cronut. The things we do for food.

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