Run time: 122 mins
Filmmaker Kelly Reichardt tells a stirring story of friendship in the 1820s Oregon.
When fur trapper Cookie (Magaro) discovers a terrified, naked man in the forest and offers him clothes and shelter, little does he know that King-Lu (Lee), his new-found friend and immigrant from China is fleeing from the Russians after killing one of them in self-defence. Later, Cookie meets him again at an outpost where they share each others dreams for the future. Seeing a cow and stealing some milk, an idea sparks to life and the pair quickly bond, going on to grow a booming biscuit business. Yet new and unexpected challenges await.
The setting is so strongly grounded that its impossible not to adapt to the peculiar rhythms of life on show here, skilfully created by the gifted cast, cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt and composer William Tyler. Reichardt has an uncanny attention to detail, recounting an engaging, unhurried tale in a way that’s both elemental and timeless.
Brimming with warm wit, gentle surprises and a terrific slow-burn suspense, it’s a thoroughly entertaining, yet earthy kick of authenticity. (Chris Coetsee)