First Cow

First Cow ★★★★½

Surprisingly for a film set in 1820, First Cow, more than any other film I've seen lately, reminded me how much I miss movie theaters. Before COVID, I used to take these evenings for myself where I would go to the gym for a little while, and time my workout so that as soon as I finished I could shower, change, and head around the corner to my favorite theater and catch a movie. Usually something artsy or slow, something kind of A24-ish. I miss those evenings a lot--it was the perfect way to end a day, connect with myself, almost meditate. This film feels like exactly the kind of thing I would have planned one of those evenings around. I can picture myself in some alternate universe, a couple of months ago, walking around the corner as the sun set behind the downtown high-rises, still high from my workout, settling in to let Kelly Reichardt whisk me away to 1820s Oregon for a couple of hours. And no home is going to be able to recreate the complete silence and lack of distraction that a theater offers. There's always a fridge running in the background, or crickets chirping outside the window, or some unplaceable hum that takes you out of the movie just a little bit. And the way this film lets itself bask in silence... I feel like this might sound a little snobbish, but it really needs a theater. I really wish I could have seen it in one. There were so many scenes that captured exactly how those evenings at the movies felt--that sort of meditative solitude. Being alone with yourself despite being among others. I miss it.

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