Ever see that movie where Michelle Williams loses her dog? Oh, you mean one of the biggest snoozefests ever put to film? Yeah, that one. It was called Wendy and Lucy (please read our review) and the American military have used it to torture people into giving us information. Yes, it’s really that ungolden slumbers. It’s so boring that we’d rather sit thru Hebrew School all over again than ever sit thru it again. Wellllllllllllllllll, apparently that’s director Kelly Reichardt‘s thang. Fair enuff, if you love the last letter of the alphabet repeated times 838383. Get the picture? Don’t think so! It ALMOST did the impossible and make us not like Michelle Williams, you know, the actress we all adore and admire and wish was our lover, friend and/mother
So what if there was a subject matter so boring to begin with that it would perfectly suit the director’s style and sensibility so dangs well that she couldn’t lose like Parker Lewis or Indiana in 1976. Guess what, there is, and it happened, and it worked!!!! We sorta heart Kelly Reichardt now!!! All is forgiven… sorta! Her latest subject is people moving westward in search of a better life (actually that was the subject matter of her last 2 movies). Yeah, but this is 1845, and moving round back than wasn’t easy, cause the west is wild and also mild and filled with nothing!!!!!
3 families are making this journey, and are led by real life Stephen Meek (a grizzly Bruce Greenwood), for who’s path, Meek’s Cutoff, they’re all passing along on!! There’s the Gatelys (real life super indie droopy faced cutie pie couple Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan), the Whites (moaning Myrtle Shirley Henderson + Neal Huff and tiny Tommy Nelson), and the couple we care and focus on mostest, the Tetherows (Reichardt alums Williams and Will Patton). They travel slowly by parched day, and unwind even slower by fire at night. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Occasionally stuff happens, like a wagon’s wheel breaks, or like they think they’re going the right way, but maybe they’re not, but maybe they are, but they still have like zero water! They even capture an Injun (Rod Rondeaux) and things get a bit more interesting, but then they don’t!
Meek’s Cutoff was like watching everyone’s favorite educational game Oregon Trail (see below) come to life. That may sound intriguing and boring, and it is!!! Yet it’s pretty impossible to not walk away from it feeling both mesmerized and thirsty. Plus how often do you get to see a film displayed in a 1.33:1 square aspect ratio, like our boy Kubrick done did wit some of his flicks with pre-HDTV home video in mind
Blazing Saddles: dude, PLAY THE OREGON TRAIL, Apple IIgs stizz, NOW!!
gawd bless you Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium
Verdictgo: Jeepers Mos Def Worth A Peepers
Meek’s is Cut-ON in NY only this Friday and elsewhere elsewhen
and until next thyme the balcony is clothed…