Meek's Cutoff (2010)

  • Drama, Western
  • 1h 44m
  • USA

Director Kelly Reichardt (Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy) traded in her unvarnished portraits of contemporary America for a powerfully ambivalent look back on the Old West with this ambitious and accomplished film. On the daunting Oregon Trail in the 1840s, shaggy, boastful trail guide Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood) leads a wagon train of three settler families — headed by Paul Dano, Will Patton, and Reichardt’s extraordinary Wendy and Lucy star Michelle Williams — on a shortcut that winds them up lost on the punishing salt flats. When the group captures a Cayuse man (Rod Rondeaux) and orders him to lead them to water, he takes them down a path that will result in either their salvation or their death. Shot to mesmerizing effect in Academy aspect ratio on the forbidding desert landscape, and anchored by Williams’ quietly powerful performance, Meek’s Cutoff is a brilliant, subtly feminist twist on the Western genre.

Closed-captioning available.


Kelly Reichardt

US Distributor

Oscilloscope Laboratories