HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
Star, The
Tom & Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
Shadow
Christmas Carol, A
Legend of the Demon Cat
Adventures of Sinbad, The
Wounds
Love & Peace
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Meek's Cutoff I (Don't) Know Where I'm GoingBuy this film here.
Year: 2010
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Stars: Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton, Zoe Kazan, Paul Dano, Shirley Henderson, Neal Huff, Tommy Nelson, Ron Rondeaux
Genre: Western
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In Oregon, the year 1846, the first of the settlers were making their arduous way across the plains in the hope of a better life somewhere in the distance, away from this harsh landscape. One such group were these three couples, one of whom have a son and another child on the way, and as they stocked up on water for their journey at this fast-flowing river, the man they had hired to lead them to safety surveyed the scene. He was Meek (Bruce Greenwood), and he claimed to have experience of the territory, but once they set out, Emily (Michelle Williams) had her doubts...

So began what for many viewers was one of the most boring films they had ever seen, a Western where you had to do a mammoth amount of reading between the lines to fathom exactly what the point of it all could be. It was the third film from the director-writer team of Kelly Reichardt and Jon Raymond after two critically acclaimed and cultishly admired indie works: the previous one, Wendy and Lucy (also starring Williams), had been especially well liked. Meek's Cutoff was something different, a feminist Western (or at least you could view it in that manner) where the bulk of the action was walking.

Or rolling across those plains in the covered wagons, but the fact remained a lot of this was taken up with the cast moving from one side of the screen to the other, occasionally breaking off from that to ponder their predicament, which the supposedly helpful Meek was turning out to be of no help to at all. You could see a political aspect to the story, as the one man who claims to know precisely what to do to get them (or us) out of these apparently dire circumstances is no more an expert than any of the other characters, and is in fact a blustering blowhard who doesn't know his arse from his elbow, no matter how many self-aggrandising yarns he spins.

The one person to twig early on that Meek is not what he seems, or not what her companions hoped for anyway, is Emily, and she at least admits that she knows for sure that they are lost. As the countryside stretches out ahead of them and their guide is no closer to taking them out of it than he was when they were at the river at the beginning of the movie, it is she who starts to call him on his bold assertions, though the other travellers have conflicting opinions on how much assistance Meek is actually offering. Then there's the introduction of a fresh character who she has noticed following them for the past few miles.

He is an Indian (Ron Rondeaux), and presently captured by the men of the wagon train. Meek says this new arrival is nothing short of a menace and should be executed forthwith, but Emily, quickly becoming the polar opposite of him in outlook, opts to look after the nameless man, feeding him, bringing him water from their dwindling stocks, and even mending his boot when the stitching comes apart. There are many instances of letting us in the audience know just how laborious life was for the settlers back in the mid-1800s from minor incidents to major, such as the time it took to fire a rifle or allow a wagon to be lowered down a steep hill (you can guess how that turns out when luck is not much in evidence). The trouble being that for too many viewers Meek's Cutoff was also laborious to watch, but if you had about as much patience as the characters did that they would find the short cut of the title then odds were you could find this rewarding, even with that open ending. Music by Jeff Grace.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1599 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: