Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Meek's Cutoff

When films open on a quiet note, meaning no dialogue or music and contains only sounds of the scene, that means the director means business. They aspire to capture the mood just from the images rather than with words. It's a move I personally like.

Kelly Reichardt does such a thing with Meek's Cutoff. In fact, she does that for the first twenty minutes or so of the film. It's a bold move for anyone to attempt it, but Reichardt makes it work.

The tale Reichardt presents in Meek's Cutoff is one of survival. Well, not exactly the characters getting so desperate they resort to cannibalism, but rather they find themselves slowly running out of resources and need to find the essentials quickly before it's too late. It's something straight out of the old westerns.

You know what "cinematography porn" is, right? That's where a film has cinematography so gorgeous and stunning, it's practically obscene. (This is applied to, say, every Terrence Malick film.) That is what Meek's Cutoff proudly displays. Shot by Chris Blauvelt, the film captures vast landscapes of barren ground that's reminiscent of the westerns by John Ford.

Meek's Cutoff in toll is a very well-crafted film. Its slow pace and lack of action might be a problem for some, but not for me. In fact, it really works on a scale this small. Really something you shouldn't skip out on.

My Rating: *****


  1. I'm glad you liked it. I was very disappointed by it. Like you said, it was too slow for some. The cinematography was definitely it's high point, I just wanted more from a movie with Michelle Williams, Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan.

  2. The cast seems pretty amazing (particularly Williams and Dano). Slow and gorgeous is a style I appreciate, I like to have the time to enjoy the cinematography - and from the trailer, I can see you're right, it does look beautiful.

  3. I loved it on the first viewing, but the film fell flat when I watched it again. Still, it's a film I'd recommend.

  4. I really need to see this - I love Michelle Williams and gorgeous cinematography. Nice review!


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