Film notes and reviews » 2011/12 season » Meek’s Cutoff, April 2012

Meek’s Cutoff, April 2012

USA 2010. Director: Kelly Reichardt.

Certificate PG

This western by a woman director, one of the few ever, can be said to define the genre for this decade much as Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven did for the 1990s.

This is the new gritty realism which we are also seeing in war films, thrillers, and domestic dramas. We follow wagons with families on the Oregon Trail, which are obviously lost. A flamboyant showman/conman on horseback claims he can lead them to safety but an Indian joins the group first as a prisoner and then as the only hope.

The star is Michelle Williams, a true rising star, as an indomitable wife, the real leader who shows faith in the native.

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