Certain Women ★★★★

The cinema of Kelly Reichardt lives in quiet, tender observations with deeply rooted characters and location. Even when adding a thriller element as with her last feature, the overlooked Night Moves, her style is never compromised. Her latest feature, Certain Women, is a loosely connected three-part drama adapted from the short stories of Maile Meloy. It’s perhaps the purest distillation of her sensibilities yet as she patiently explores the longing for human connection in world where men too often get prioritized.

Primarily set in Livingston, Montana, the first story concerns a lawyer (Laura Dern) whose current client (Jared Harris) has been displaced after a workplace accident. By settling for a small sum upfront that barely paid for any related expenses, further litigation has proved impossible. She notes that, if she was a man, her client might have listened to her for the last eight months delivering this exact news. Suffering from an emotional breakdown after fully realizing his situation while driving home, it pushes her client to a breaking point. Reichardt, as she does in the next two stories, ends this passage with a piercing emotion, the foundation of which had been quietly percolating, perhaps initially unbeknownst moment-to-moment to even the most observant viewer.

My full review: thefilmstage.com/reviews/sundance-review-certain-women/

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