Why did I watch it?
- The atmospheric trailer, with it’s haunting and spare score.
- The distributing studio, Oscilloscope Laboratories, has been doing some really cool stuff lately. Seems like they’re going for a more contemporary, possibly more avant garde Criterion Collection thing.
- I have wanted to check out Kelly Reichardt for a while now, but Wendy and Lucy didn’t really seem up my alley.
Random IMDB Trivia:
- (There actually is no trivia listed on IMDB, so I’ll go with something that I found interesting) The opening sequence is a river crossing that takes 10-15 more or less wordless minutes.
Netflix Rating: 4 out of 5
The film opens much like There Will Be Blood, with people working very hard at tasks modern day advances will eventually make obsolete. Their work is mostly silent (outside of a recurring squeaky wagon wheel) and diligent; the effect is profound. Reichardt does a great job of putting the viewer in the same exact situation her characters are in. My feeling is that this is pretty much the purpose of the entire film, and as such, Reichardt has made a successful film.
While it is a success, there’s obviously a pretty limited appeal. The dialogue is littered in small clusters throughout. The plot, insofar as there is one, does not actively try to grab the viewer’s attention. I’d describe it as aggressively slow paced. A single shot can linger on a hill-spotted horizon, following a speck as it becomes a small shape, then becomes two small shapes, and finally becomes two men on horseback returning to camp. This all worked for me, but returns may vary.