Meek’s Cutoff

Guys, I forgot to tell you that MEEK’S CUTOFF sucked. I saw it with a fellow female director, and we were disturbed by how unfulfilling the movie was. Sure, there were decent parts — nice performances esp. by Bruce Greenwood as Meek, pretty desert cinematography, a patient pace that is admirable when well-executed, which it was in a few scenes.

I know director Kelly Reichardt is into the observational, detail-oriented, deliberate (aka slow) storytelling. Well, she brought her A-game with this one! She even blessed us with her editing skills that only further enhanced her mind-numbingly meticulous and self-absorbed movie.

After enduring the looooong journey, in which the high point of drama is, as I woefully predicted, encapsulated in the film’s poster and, yet, still doesn’t delivery the satisfaction of something actually happening as you’d hope it would considering the image is of Michelle Williams brazenly pointing a shotgun. No way! This movie is clearly against anything too big happening too fast or too interestingly.

Honestly, I wouldn’t be so bitter about it if the ending was fulfilling. Instead, it’s an open-ended conclusion to a meandering tale. An unbeatable combo! For an hour and 43 minutes, the audience is pretty much asked to entertain itself (I did it by naming all the oxen based on their looks and glimpses of personality). Then in minute 104, the filmmakers give up entirely and beg a final favor: audience, please come up with a conclusion on your own.

There are stories in which I love this kind of ending. However, in this case after all the sand and wide shots of pioneers walking and walking and walking, the ending felt like anything but a creative “choice.” I felt like I wasn’t in the safe hands of a responsible storyteller. Instead, I felt like my time was being wasted by pretentious, self-indulgent artists who got away with calling nice shots, good performances and the outline of a narrative a story fit for a theater.

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One Response to “Meek’s Cutoff”

  1. Mikey G Says:

    I concur completely…Just a total abomination of a movie…That was probably the worst ending to a movie I have ever seen in my life. The movie basically didn’t go anywhere, they are in the same position at the end as they are in the beginning.

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