Following her heartbreaking "lost dog" tearjerker Wendy and Lucy, independent filmmaker Kelly Reichardt’s latest drama adds to the reemergence of western movies. Set in 1845, three families venture across the Oregon Trail with self-claimed expert Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood) as their guide. As time passes, and food and water depletes, the travelers start to lose trust for the so-called frontier specialist. Then a Native American drifter comes along their path, and in true Manifest Destiny fashion, the emigrants use force to obtain information, while continuously feeling distant toward one another. The trailer definitely doesn’t indicate any sense of the usual heroism or machismo seen in cowboy flicks. In fact, there are hints of feminism—Michelle Williams’ character raises questions against Meek, and proves her disobedience against men during a time when sexual rights weren’t imagined. The visuals are stunning, but we have a feeling that it’ll be more so an artsy interpretation of solitude and human nature, and not a thrill ride. Having earned favorable reviews at various festivals, the film officially receives a theatrical release on April 8th.
Tags: meeks-cutoff, trailer-park, michelle-williams, kelly-reichardt