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Rated PG · 101 minutes · 2011

Filmmaker Kelly Reichardt throws a wet blanket over the traditional conventions of the screen western with this taciturn, somber account of a lost party of white settlers wandering in the high desert, circa 1845. We resist at first, but the mood takes hold and continues to gnaw at us long after we leave the theater. The impressive cast — Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton, Shirley Henderson, Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, and stunt man Rod Rondeaux as a captured Native American — spends much of its time trudging the rocky terrain with little to say. But Reichardt and her frequent writing partner Jon Raymond (Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy) resist the urge to veer off into “art western” mannerisms. The interaction between Williams, as a willful wife in a calico bonnet, and Rondeaux’s Cayuse brave makes this trip rewarding not only for western aficionados, but for those who admired the scope of the director’s “Oregon Trilogy,” of which this is the final piece. Recommended. (104 min.)

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Official Site:
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Producer: Neil Kopp, Anish Savjani, Elizabeth Cuthrell and David Urrutia
Cast: Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton, Zoe Kazan, Paul Dano, Shirley Henderson, Neal Huff, Tommy Nelson and Rod Rondeaux


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