The Road to Civilisation is Not Always Civilised
Set in 1845, this drama follows a group of settlers as they embark on a punishing journey along the Oregon Trail. When their guide leads them astray, the expedition is forced to contend with the unforgiving conditions of the high plain desert.
Hardly anything happens in this movie. Watching it is kind of like playing Oregon Trail on the slowest setting without all the excitement of trying to kill off the people traveling with you.
I LOVED IT.
Calling this a slow burn film is a huge understatement but I really dig this film. It's shot great and the ending kicks ass, but that's just me.
This movie made me feel like less of a man. I sat on the couch with the heaters pumping in the corner, eating potato chips, and drinking a lovely pinot noir, while watching settlers slowly trudge across the deserted, treacherous Oregon plains, on the verge of dying, with their entire lives wrapped up in a small wagon. I think I need to start building furniture or something...
Meek's Cutoff accomplishes a very rare feat; feeling epic, yet very intimate at the same time. A short ways into the film there is a scene where the camera follows one female settler as her scarf is blown across the expansive, dusty plain. We spend a solid thirty seconds or so just following…
"I'm just thinking of my father's pigs back home, all safe and warm in their pens."
"Meek's Cutoff" refers to a shortcut promised by pioneer guide Stephen Meek in the early days of the Oregon Trail. Unfortunately, Meek didn't know the way as well as he claimed, and the small party of settlers found themselves wandering without water in the desert. (I did not know there were desert parts of Oregon; I should have realized, since a large portion of the state borders Nevada.) The story joins this party after they have gotten lost.
The West has never seemed so quiet and so vast. These people seem truly isolated, with no hope of…
I've always struggled to explain the appeal of Kelly Reichardt's films (Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy), they are slow bordering on boring, light on plot and often relying on broad characters. Yet, over time, the film slowly creeps up on you and especially in the case of Wendy and Lucy the end result is something far more affecting than its constituent parts would suggest. Meek's Cutoff broadens Reichardt's traditional scope but still carries all of her hallmarks. The film is deathly slow, a usual criticism but one that works here to capture the slow rolling wagons and the hopelessness the group feel when they realise they are lost amongst the vastness of the American landscape. Characters are once again…
Best of 2011 they said! A masterpiece they said! A classic in the making they said! BULLSHIT! This is the type of film that critics love to praise because of the "talent" behind it and they're afraid to say how shitty it is because they don't want to sound like assholes! Well allow me to be that asshole...
This film moves like a slow moving wagon on the Oregon Trail. Now I don't mind a slow moving film as long as there is something that can sustain my interest, like an interesting conversation or something small that brings a character's internal conflicts to light. The sad fact about this is NOTHING HAPPENS! Seriously! There are tons of overlong scenes where…
Ever play Oregon Trail and think to yourself, "This would make a great movie". Neither have I, but that is essentially what has been produced of Kelly Reichardt's MEEK'S CUTOFF. I never remember making it to the end of Oregon Trail. I always found myself getting a bit distracted and finding something more exciting than deciding whether I should cross the river or risk getting dysentery. This movie has a few moments that elevate us to that hard trek across America but others lie flat and boring leaving us hoping to find a snake in our boots.
It's main force comes from the bleakness and brutality of the trek out west. I'm not sure there is another film that depicts…
June Challenge film 53. This was a beautifully shot film. It tracks the very slow movement of a group of families across the wilderness on their way out west along the Oregon Trail. While not very much happens, the film does a great job of showing what the terror must be like of not knowing if you will have enough food or, especially, water to survive the trip. It does a good job of touching on big themes like the spirit of cooperation, clashes of cultures, and trust and betrayal. While I was watching this, I got interrupted by numerous phone calls which made this take almost 3 hours to watch. While that would usually be an unwanted distraction, it actually seems to have enhanced the effect that this film was going for.
Not much on plot. The characters are interesting enough but don't go anywhere. Instead the purpose is to give a pretty accurate depiction of pioneers moving west. The problem is, people don't watch movies just for that, there needs to be more. The night scenes are totally black, accurate, yes. Film appropriate? Not really.
There are some strange issues with the production. Minimal sound design is ok, but bad sound quality is not. Or maybe that was just how it streamed? The cinematography is good, there are some really pretty images here. But why the hell was it shot in 1.33:1. Now that everyone has 16X9 screens they're going to shoot in 4X3? Stupid. I am impressed with just how dry everything looks, a little bit of color correction goes a long way.
Nothing really happens, there is no climax, and there is no resolution. There ya have it.
I didn't know movies could do that.
Wonderfully slow. Every single shot in the film is truly picture perfect.
This is a hard film for me to rate when I loved the aesthetics of it, but I was terribly bored by it at the same time so I'm going to stick to my guns, as I do, and ignore all your five star reviews of this film.
Why? Because nothing actually happens. The film follows a set of characters who walk, and walk, pick up an Indian, and walk some more. Yes, it's shot beautifully, but there is absolutely nothing to sustain your interest. Even thinking about this film is boring me.
A hurrendously dull movie.
I get it. Life is tough out on the plains, but i don't consider watching the tedium for ninety minutes entertaining.
Not helped but a incoherent sound mix. Some scenes i replayed multiple times, just to try and understand what was being said.
And the end, if you can call it that...
It looked pretty enough, but I'd rather stare at art on a wall.
La mejor película sobre pioneros mormones...no protagonizada por pioneros mormones.
Eso sí, tache a Letteboxd por poner este póster tan horrendo.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.