Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Monkey Movie Report

Meek's Cutoff is beautifully shot, well acted piece of unrelentingly bleak cinema.

This film tells the story of a group of settlers on the Oregon trail who lost their way and who just about have lost their will to keep going. Wagons break down, water runs short, members of their party start to falter, native Americans dog their wake, and yet they keep going even though some of them want to give up and turn back east.

The performances in this film are all quite good. Michelle Williams as the young wife of one of the leaders of the party is quite effecting. Her quiet resolve and resignation is tempered with a cautious optimism that's borne of necessity rather than belief, things can't get worse so they have to get better and soon is what her character must be thinking. Bruce Greenwood, hiding behind a wild and wooly beard and hairdo, is the vainglorious know it all scout who may be leading the party to their doom, it's his best role in years. Shirley Henderson, my Scottish adopted actor, see the side bar on this blog, is in this film and she's eerily good too. She was also another moody western a few years back if you remember, that film as called The Claim. And finally Rod Rondeaux as the Indian who is literally roped into going with the settlers party is also very good.

I recommend this film but be warned it's bleak and it has one of those endings that may unsettle some.

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