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23 Feb

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Meek’s Cutoff

4 Feb

Meek’s Cutoff | 2010 | Director: Kelly Reichardt | Site | IMDB
Meeks Cutoff is the story of settlers heading west in 1865 through varied and harsh conditions while not knowing if they have lost their way. Every aspect of this film keeps you in-step and feeling akin to the characters in the film. Scenes are slow and deliberate and begin to drain you like the circumstances are draining its characters. The true wide-open west experience was fully captured by director, Kelly Reichardt. Vast open space – unimaginably huge spaces were contrasted perfectly with the trapped, lost and hopeless feelings each character begins to embody. Bruce Greenwood, who played Stephen Meek, was fantastic opposite Michelle Williams. I have never seen Greenwood play a role like this, and he did it flawlessly. The outgoing, perhaps a little crazy, “old prospector type” is alive in Greenwood. I am more used to him as the stoic captain or President type. Meeks Cutoff is slow and painful in parts; but overall a fine film and great depiction of the all too American travel west. The ending will leave you guessing?

This film is about a group of families traveling west, who have paid a guide to get them through rough terrain in 1845. The travelers end up lost when their guide, Meek, offers a shortcut. They begin to question if they will find their way before running out of water.  The backdrop to this film is a desolate with little to no plant life.  The land they shot the film on brings you to feel for these characters. Michelle Williams plays the female lead and was fantastic. I thought the story in this film was very good and probably close to being historically accurate. The fear of knowing you could die of dehydration in the middle of nowhere and there is nothing you can do is a strong driving point towards the end of the film. I only gave Meeks Cutoff 3.5 stars because I felt the film dragged on during several scenes and it just didn’t keep my attention. If you are fan of westerns you may enjoy this more than I did.

Meek’s Cutoff Trailer

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