First Cow Review
Kelly Reichardt's First Cow is the latest film in the director's growing series of mini-marvels. Starting with Old Joy to Wendy And Lucy as well as The Meek's Cutoff as well as Night Moves, the writer-director has created a nichethat explores ideas about friendship's inherent nature as well as the struggles of the rural population to get by and our tense relationship with the natural world. The film was co-written by her long-time coworker Jonathan Raymond, First Cow isn't particularly announcing new territory and may lack the ambition that she has shown in her most recent film (Certain Women) however it's an exquisitely rendered look at an incredibly close bond that is formed in the arduous life of a frontier.
In the 1820s Oregon, Cookie (John Magaro) is a dissident chef to a group of fur trappers headed West. He meets King Lu (Orion Lee) who is a highly educated Chinese immigrants, who is naked in the forest, and being chased by Russians who would like to murder the man. The two become friends but then break up, and some time later, they begin living in a cabin near an exchange post. The film's title character appears the first cow to be found located in the area that belongs to British landowner Chief Factor (Toby Jones) who has an idea to make money. Cookie who is a professional baker with a talent that would get the Paul Hollywood handshake, observes that the dairy cow could be the key ingredient in an buttermilk biscuit. Lu believes that there is the potential for a lucrative business and the two make nightly visits to the farm, Cookie doing the milking, Lu on look-out duty. On the most fundamental level, First Cow is the most low-cost heist movie you could ever imagine.
John Magaro is the star of the show, delivering an amazingly manipulated performance as a soft sad-sack, with the gift of.
If it seems like an ideal recipe for low-grade comedy, it's not. Reichardt explores the struggles of 19th-century Oregon without hesitation with the confidence that the stakes for drama -Will Chief Factor realize that Cookie King-Lu and Cookie are creating his new favorite food of the milk he stole by his own herd? The stakes are high enough to keep readers entertained. Reichardt creates a sense of authenticity and full of life and saturating the narrative with excellent actors and faces: Altman favourite Rene Auberjonois as a recluse Ewen Bremner as the Scottish military blowhard who has an itch for cribbage, and, perhaps most importantly, Jones, who plays the pompous aristocrat and never becoming a parody.
The passion of the actress for nature is the antithesis of Terrence Malick naturalism, down and dirty instead of airy-fairy lyricism. However, she is never out of sight of the peoplearound her, Christopher Blauvelt's cinematographer's 4:3 photos provide a stunning proscenium to showcase the blossoming friendship, beautifully rendered bond that is defined by love and sensitivity. A testament to Reichardt's ability bring in new talented actors, Orion Lee is terrific as a convincing tough-nosed entrepreneur who runs the company and a warmhearted friend. However, this is the show of Magaro and he is able to turn in a beautifully controlled turn as a gentle sad-sack who has the gift of. In a quiet moment when they discuss their hopes and hopes of the future, you realize you're watching an unlikely romance that is purely platonic to be savor.