Video on Demand — July 2017

Video pick of the month

Certain Women

Even by Kelly Reichardt’s disciplined standards, Certain Women brings the rigor. Opening credits are laid over a overhead static shot of a train making its way from the frame’s upper right corner to the bottom left; not quite James Benning’s RR, but that gives some idea of Reichardt’s patience. The “certain women” of Montana have their stories told in three basically discrete segments (there are overlapping characters between each, but no greater cohesion as far as I could tell at first pass). Lawyer Laura (Laura Dern) represents an injured construction worker; unable to get the settlement he deserves, he takes a hostage for leverage. Laura’s sleeping with Ryan Lewis (James Le Gros, at peak beard), who’s building a house way out there for wife Gina (Michelle Williams). The two constantly snipe out of daughter Guthrie’s (Sara Rodier) earshot, who displays zero interest in country living, much less living up to the progressive life aspirations her name confers on her. (Disappointed liberalism and rural retreats: this is the Old Joy Revisited section.) Elsewhere, a struggling young lawyer (Kristin Stewart) makes an eight-hour-round-trip commute to teach school law to petty teachers. The class attracts the bored attentions and ambiguous affections of Jamie (Lily Gladstone), who has no after horse-ranch work hours life in her small town. (Vadim Rizov)


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