River of Grass

River of Grass ★★★

The roots of what I think Reichardt does better than anyone else when it comes to depicting compounding little hardships and the structures maintaining wealth inequality are definitely here, but I can't help but prefer how much more fully-formed her approach to those themes is in something like Wendy and Lucy or Certain Women. This feels like a natural starting point for her, especially within the culture of mid-'90s indie cinema, but a starting point all the same.

There are some moments here that are pure fully-formed Reichardt, though, particularly the toll officer verbally communicating the literal lack of movement beyond barriers of wealth. If nothing else, it was fascinating to see how those fixations were always there, and how Reichardt only dug deeper into the quietly empathetic humanist underpinnings of those fixations over time.

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