Posts from 31st October 2010

Oct 10

London Film Festival: Meek’s Limbo

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Kelly Reichardt’s previous two movies have been lo-key gems. The lost in the woods burn of Old Joy and the one girl and her dog dilemmas at the heart of Wendy And Lucy. Both have taken small scale stories and got deep enough into their protagonists heads to make their problems as important as any world saving plot, if not more so. Wendy being distraught over the fate of her dog Lucy is played against almost complete poverty, it was the first film I thought caught the depressing zeitgeist of a post-credit crunch world. So perhaps its an odd choice for her to then move to a pioneer western next with Meek’s Cutoff. Unsurprisingly though, she brings her own style and sensibility to embue a more traditionally suspenseful story with empathy for the individuals in what is still a small story.

Three wagons on the Oregon Trail have gone their own way, being guided by a grizzled old frontiersman Meek. As the film starts the pioneers start to think that perhaps Meek is lost, and trust is dipping. There is a family, a younger couple and a pair of May to December newlyweds along with Meek. Meek holds all the cards here, at least until the capture a Native American out on the plains who has been following them.