The third feature from Kelly Reichardt is a beautifully spare Western about a group of settlers on the Oregon Trail.
The third feature from Kelly Reichardt (Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy) is named after a trail across the Oregon desert first blazed by guide Stephen Meek as he led wagons full of settlers towards the west coast. Working from diaries written by women on one fated 1845 expedition, Jon Raymond’s script plants us in a parched, austere landscape full of life-or-death choices. At the heart is a battle of wills between grizzled, loquacious Meek (Greenwood - ‘not lost, just finding our way’) and the quiet pragmatism of settler Emily Tetherow (Michelle Williams, brilliant as ever).
A period movie might look like a departure for Reichardt and Raymond, best known for roaming the margins of northwest America today, but their focus remains on how individuals in tough circumstances survive and locate their own moral compass.
Dir: Kelly Reichardt
With: Paul Dano, Bruce Greenwood, Michelle Williams
Running time: 105 mins