- First Cow
- Kelly Reichardt
- 121 DCP
“Kelly Reichardt’s latest film is a fable, a western, a buddy picture, and a masterpiece.”A.O. Scott, New York Times
Kelly Reichardt continues to prove she is the best working filmmaker in America with her sublime seventh feature, yet another masterpiece in the indie laureate’s stable of deceptively small-scale cinema. Returning to the Pacific Northwest following Certain Women’s winning detour to Montana (we named that 2016 picture one of the decade’s best), First Cow also reunites the New York-based director with frequent co-writer Jon Raymond, whose debut novel The Half-Life provides the elements for this pared-down adaptation. Set in the wilderness of 19th-century Oregon Territory, the subtly profound film tells of the friendship and fraternal love between a quiet, tender fur-trappers’ cook (John Magaro) and a venturous Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee). When a dairy cow, the prized property of a wealthy English landowner (Toby Jones), arrives in the region, the two hatch a plan to steal the bovine’s milk to bake and sell delicious “oily cakes” for a tidy profit. Reichardt, in her second frontier film (after Meek’s Cutoff), imbues the modest tale with hushed artistic eloquence and a lived-in sense of authenticity — her auteurial fortes. The spare, fingerpicking score is by Nashville guitarist William Tyler.
“One of the best of the year so far … First Cow is a masterwork of indie cinema.”David Sims, The Atlantic
“Another allusive and quietly graceful tale of human connection set against the great American wilderness, the acclaimed director’s favourite canvas.”Isaac Feldberg, Boston Globe
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