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Certain Women

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Director: Kelly Reichardt, Kelly Reichardt, Kelly Reichardt
2016 / 107min / DCP

Working from a trio of short stories by Helena-born writer Maile Meloy, Reichardt’s southwestern Montana-set triptych is made up of lovingly detailed slice-of-life vignettes in which very different women, played by a few of America’s most intuitive actresses, are found negotiating the hazards—mortal and quotidian—of life in Big Sky Country. In the film’s first section, lawyer Laura Dern is called upon to negotiate with a client who’s gone gun crazy; in its second, rusticating mom Michelle Williams confronts a western culture of tight-lipped masculine camaraderie that threatens to alienate her from even her own daughter; in its last, night school-attending rural ranch hand Lily Gladstone nurses a hopeless passion for an oblivious professor, played to affectless perfection by Kristen Stewart. A film of little gestures that linger on forever, the way that a whisper can carry in wide open country.

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