Certain Women ★★★★½

87/100

Kelly Reichardt's Certain Women aches with the wind of a thousand lives lost to the blistering cold. Its cast may be individualistic, but their mingling relationships are already doomed, stamped to the far outstretches of fate. The winding landscapes of small-town Montana feel disconnected from America's progress into modernity, evident by scenes constructed out of alienating office cubicles, restaurants, and school parking lots. These people are so lonely, so uncertain in spite of their chosen particularity that the film's expansion of time - trains roaming as transport, horses strolling across a winter night - captures impeccable nuance in their unspoken desires and frustrations. They're surrounded by advances in culture and technology, but their tired eyes and haunted gestures seem of another era; a life lived only to collapse and rise again in order to ensnare another. It's the chilly, frostbitten, "lacking" images which continue to elude me; an absence of violence, an absence of romance, an absence of fulfillment. Only a Kelly Reichardt film makes me ponder the essence of a pile of Sandstone. A slippery, 'hand just out of reach' kind of a movie even when its tangibility couldn't be more precise.

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