Kristen Sales of FilmFracture writes: "Meek's Cutoff is an exemplary entry in the canon of revisionist Westerns, a sub-category of that most famous American film genre (although how much more can be "revised" after fifty years of mucking with the formula is questionable). Anyway, "classical" Westerns are in short demand these days. Most modern entries in the genre self-consciously play with the cinematic legacy of the film Western (see: this year's Rango), so it is refreshing that Meek's Cutoff is less concerned with what a film Western is and more concerned with what the American West actually was. Reteaming director Kelly Reichardt with her Wendy and Lucy muse Michelle Williams, Meek's Cutoff has been dubbed a feminist Western, which is no doubt true, but the film hews too closely to historical fact and documentary attention to detail to really be viewed as a picture with an overt political agenda."
Director and writer partnerships that deliver consistent high quality work are an anomaly in filmmaking. Yet in the indie cinema world, the combination of director Kelly Reichardt and writer Jon Raymond is an exception to the rule, with their films Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy receiving critical acclaim and a loyal following.
There latest venture is Meek’s Cutoff, a slow burn western that stars Michelle Williams, and is based on the true story of a small bunch of settlers who are led down the wrong trail by famed mountain man Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwodd), way back in the Oregon High Desert of 1845.
Raymond talks to Matt’s Movie Reviews about writing Meek’s Cutoff, his working relationship with Reichardt, and his career as a screenwriter.
Matt's Movie Reviews Podcast #15 features reviews of The Hangover Part II and Of Gods and Men, interview with Meek's Cutoff screenwriter Jon Raymond and Top Five Robert Duvall Performances.
A western that effectively conveys the isolation and fear the characters live in, without heroes, villains, or those who are morally ambiguous. Full review by Chris Pandolfi.