“The exclusive limited release of Certain Women continues ACMI’s ongoing cinematic survey of the work of exceptional female creative talents, their unique collaborations and influences. Kelly Reichardt is at the forefront of North American filmmakers painting an alternative view of the USA we so often see presented on the big screen. Grounded in empathy and humanity, her films are highly moving portraits of ordinary people, making extraordinary efforts to rise above their circumstances,” said ACMI Senior Film Programmer Kristy Matheson.
A unique cinematic voice, Reichardt brings Certain Women to the fore at a time of great political and social change for women, particularly in North America. Starring Michelle Williams, Kirsten Stewart, Laura Dern and newcomer, Lily Gladstone, the film is based on short stories from Maile Meloy's collection, Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It.
An understated and moving meditation on small-town existence in rural Montana, Certain Women captures revealing, bittersweet and heartfelt moments in the lives of three women - a lawyer managing a challenging and unstable client, a wife and mother struggling to create her dream home, and an isolated ranch hand longing for connection with a young graduate.
Winning Best Film at the 2016 London Film Festival and garnering numerous five star reviews, Certain Women has been heralded as Reichardt’s most poetic work to date. The film also continues Reichardt’s longstanding working relationship with Michelle Williams, which ACMI will further spotlight with screenings of Meek’s Cutoff and Wendy and Lucy.
Set in 1845 and loosely based on historical events, Meek’s Cutoff (2010) traces the journey of a group of settlers making their way through the blistering conditions of the Oregon High Desert, led by a guide who appears to have lost his way. An unconventional Western, which gives voice to its female characters, the film stars Michelle Williams alongside Paul Dano, Bruce Greenwood, Shirley Henderson and Will Patton.
Wendy and Lucy (2008), based on a short story by Jon Raymond, tells the tale of a young woman named Wendy (Michelle Williams), who sets off for Alaska in search of work, accompanied by her dog Lucy. But when Wendy’s car breaks down she finds herself stuck in Oregon, where the harsh realities of her marginalised existence come strongly into play.
Capping off Certain Women: Kelly Reichardt’s America is Old Joy (2006), a road movie starring Will Oldham (musician Bonnie ‘Prince' Billy) and Daniel London. A portrait of two old friends -a carefree hippie and an expectant father - who embark on a weekend hiking trip, the film deftly explores themes of grief and isolation, set to a soundtrack by New Jersey band Yo La Tengo.
Coinciding with the ACMI screenings, Sydney’s Golden Age Cinema and Bar will screen Certain Women from Thursday 27 April for a strictly limited season. For more information visit www.ourgoldenage.com.au
ON CERTAIN WOMEN:
***** "It’s a heartbreaker, pure and simple" - Little White Lies
"Exquisite... Reichardt confirms her status as cinema's foremost poet of the American Northwest." - Screen Daily