Certain Women. Kelly Reichardt. USA.
Eloquently captured on 16mm film by frequent collaborator Christopher Blauvelt, who also shot the director’s Meek’s Cutoff and Night Moves, Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women is another quiet and small triumph. Assembling a trio of the best American actresses of their respective generations (Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, and Kristen Stewart) along with gifted newcomer Lily Gladstone, who delivers a truly shattering performance as a lonely young cowgirl, Certain Women is a portrait of rural living in the United States, divided into three interlocking chapters.
Similar to Mia Hansen-Løve’s Things to Come (L’avenir), Certain Women is the sort of film we so rarely see any more: soft, contemplative studies of ordinary people, particularly from a female perspective. I preferred Certain Women a lot more than Things to Come, which—thanks to its late-in-the-year release in the U.S. and it being a monumental year for its star Isabelle Huppert—has been showing up on a lot of Top 10 lists recently. While Certain Women suffers the usual unevenness of fragmented films in short story fashion (Williams has very little to do in her middle segment), it’s a type of film that doesn’t exactly translate to the streaming, on demand, HD digital universe we all live in, which made seeing it in the theatre all-the-more gratifying.
Certain Women was released by IFC Films this past fall and will be released in France by LFR Films under the name Certaines femmes early 2017, as well as in the U.K.
With: Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, Lily Gladstone, Kristen Stewart, James Le Gros, Jarred Harris, Rene Auberjonois, Sara Rodier