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CertainWomen drops us into a handful of intersecting lives across Montana. A lawyer (Laura Dern) tries to defuse a hostage situation and calm her disgruntled client (Jared Harris), who feels slighted by a workers' compensation settlement. A married couple (Michelle Williams and James Le Gros) breaks ground on a new home but exposes marital fissures when they try to persuade an elderly man to sell his stockpile of sandstone. A ranch hand (Lily Gladstone) forms an attachment to a young lawyer (Kristen Stewart), who inadvertently finds herself teaching a twice-weekly adult education class, four hours from her home.Written by
When Elizabeth Travis first starts her school law course, she begins writing her name as "Eliz..." on the blackboard, then wipes it out and simply writes "Beth". A little later a fully written but crossed out "Elizabeth" appears next to the "Beth". See more »
Play with My Heart
Performed by Taye Johnson
Courtesy of Yebo Music by arrangement with Bank Robber Music See more »
A good and unique indie film
In rural / small-town Montana, three stories interact: a lawyer (Laura Dern) seems unable to set boundaries with an ex-client (Jared Harris) who is unhinged and deranged; a rather uptight woman (Michelle Williams) tries to find motivation in building a new home even though her husband and teenage daughter are growing more and more distant from her; a young rancher (Lily Gladstone) is infatuated with a recent law graduate (Kristen Stewart) who arrives in her town twice a week to teach an educational law night class.
"CertainWomen" is written and directed by Kelly Reichardt and based on short stories by Maile Meloy. Like other Reichardt films (her best is "Meek's Cutoff" (2010)), this one tells so much in the unspoken word - where a silent reply says so much more than a bluntly worded statement. She is blessed with a superb cast who can make the viewer feel so much with a camera lingering on their faces.
It's tempting to think "nothing is happening" at the beginning of each segment. But once viewers catch on to Reinhardt's unique style, they can see that a lot is actually happening. The Gladstone/Stewart story stands out for various reasons and not just the great acting (Gladstone rightly won many awards for her performance). It provides a great re-telling of the tragic story of someone having a crush on another who aspires to be (or already is) in a higher class in the socioeconomic hierarchy.
Their story, like the others, have a theme of loneliness and isolation even for those who are surrounded by people. This film has a special and unique charm that is quite rewarding.
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