Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Top Ten Films of 2011: #7

Directed by Kelly Reichardt 
Starring: Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Paul Dano, Shirley Henderson, Zoe Kazan

Facing the harsh practicalities of having to transport their life’s worth across unfamiliar, unforgiving terrain, the simmering band of travellers in Kelly Reichardt’s “Meek’s Cutoff” are afraid to speak the truth. An organic account of why discovery may not represent an endeavour worth pursuing, it’s safe to say that John Wayne would not have relished Reichardt’s evocative portrait of the old West, a subversion of the genre’s common use of the natural mystique as alluring or adventurous, her lingering hand providing a permanence of setting; a patient, yet all the more frightening realm of unknown. She coaxes an assimilating sense of dread from a canny ensemble, finely detailing how disorientation colours trust, fragments alliances, distorts rationale, and curtails progress, and documents a journey concerning themes of transition, faith, and inherent resistance with worldly prowess.

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