River of Grass (1994)

  • Female Director, First Feature, Comedy
  • 1h 21m
  • USA

Both a sun-drenched take on film noir and a roadless road movie, the 1994 debut feature by Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy, Certain Women) announced the arrival of a fresh, original voice on the American indie scene. In sweltering South Florida, Cozy (actor and director Lisa Bowman), a bored, reluctant working-class mother, falls for Lee Ray (future director Larry Fessenden, the film’s editor), a shady character from the wrong side of the tracks. After a drunken dip in a neighbour’s swimming pool ends with gunfire, the mismatched duo take it on the lam and decide to pursue the outlaw life. However, this would-be Bonnie and Clyde are comically stymied in their unlawful pursuits at every turn, as the barren backdrop of strip malls and swampy fields provides a pointedly ironic comment on their awkward desperado antics. Voted one of the best films of 1995 by The Village Voice and Film Comment, this “screwball neo- Breathless ” (Scott Foundas, Cinema Scope) blends cool, detached irony with an underlying sense of melancholia and modern malaise. “A smart little deadpan honey of a comedy about the way America has exhausted its pop-culture myths” (Jay Carr, The Boston Globe).

Closed-captioning available.


Kelly Reichardt

US Distributor

Oscilloscope Laboratories