Film Review – Certain Women (2016)

Title – Certain Women (2016)

Director – Kelly Reichardt (Night Moves)

Cast – Michelle Williams, Laura Dern, Kristin Stewart, Lily Gladstone, Jared Harris, James Le Gros

Plot – Examines the lives of three different women living and working in the state of Montana as their lives unwittingly interconnect.

“No one understands what my life has become”

Review by Eddie on 25/10/2017

It doesn’t seem as though indie darling Kelly Reichardt will be changing her directing tact anytime soon.

Becoming well known for her intimate, slow-moving and character driven character studies (that more often than not star Michelle Williams), Reichardt’s film aren’t for everyone but there is often a quiet power to Reichardt’s stories that can’t be denied.

Hitting a peak with lost dog drama Wendy and Lucy and losing her way with the sleep inducing female driven western Meek’s Cutoff, Certain Women is middle of the road Reichardt that see’s the Florida born filmmaker examine the lives of 3 separate women in the American state of Montana, each going through their own various journey’s in this great big world.

There’s barely an ounce of character development or backstory as we’re thrust into these women’s everyday lives, from Laura Dern’s lawyer Laura dealings with Jared Harris’s potentially dangerous client Fuller, Michelle William’s hardworking mother and wife Gina and Lily Gladstone’s The Rancher’s strange fondness for Kristin Stewart’s class instructor Elizabeth and while these women’s stories are intriguing to a sense, there’s never a good enough set-up or reward to truly make this intertwining story truly memorable.

As per usual with a Reichardt film, Certain Women looks great in a quietly poetic way and the acting is universally good, without ever delivering any big character moments or situations for Reichardt’s cast to shine at their brightest levels but it’s hard to fully invest yourself into a film that feels rather emotionally cold and a problem that sometimes manifests itself in such narrative structures, some of Certain Women’s most interesting plot points seem to end as we’re thrust back into another characters life, making us feel as though we’re being a little ripped off by a story that had more to give us.

Final Say –

Reichardt’s ponderous and deliberately paced drama will be a treat for her small yet passionate fan base while for the rest of us, Certain Women is a well-intentioned and finely acted drama that never hooks us into its world in a way that would’ve made it more readily accessible and easily recommendable.

2 ½ short-legged farm dogs out of 5

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