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Archives for : Christopher Blauvelt

Movie Review: “Certain Women” is a Beautifully Shot Snoozefest

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There is beauty in simplicity, but there is also simply boring. I may come off a little harsh with Kelly Reichardt’s latest film, “Certain Women”, but unfortunately it’s hard to get captivated by the slow pace of each story-line and the dull main characters.

The film is essentially broken up into three parts as we follow three women whose lives intersect. They are adapted from several short stories by Montana writer Maile Meloy.

In the first story we meet Laura Wells (Laura Dern), a small town lawyer who’s having an affair with a married man. She is dealing with a frustrating client (Jared Harris), who was injured on the job and wants to pursue a case against his employer.

After that we are introduced to Gina (Michelle Williams) and her husband (James Le Gros), who was seen in the previous segment. The two have just finished a camping trip with their teenage daughter Guthrie (Sara Rodier). They visit their elderly neighbor, Albert (Rene Auberjonois) to purchase a pile of sandstone that’s been sitting in his front yard for years. Gina wants to use it for a getaway cottage she plans to build. This is by far, the most uninteresting part of the film.

Finally, the more intriguing moment of the movie is when we see Jamie (Lily Gladstone), a rancher; randomly walk into a night class she’s not registered for. The class is intended to teach the history of public education policy in the U.S. But it’s not the subject that fascinates Jamie; it’s the nervous young lawyer, Beth (Kristen Stewart), who’s the unfortunate instructor. Basically, she is forced to teach the class and has to endure a four hour commute. Soon enough, she befriends Jamie and after class they routinely go to a local diner for a quick dinner as Jamie just watches her eat. For Jamie, seeing Beth is the highlight of her week, however, Beth does not value their time together nearly as much.

By the time the film concludes, we have seen the very minor ways these three women’s lives intertwine. Ultimately, Reichardt does a good job of portraying the overdone, general theme of isolation and the difficulty of communication. But it’s the actual stories that don’t give you enough meat to bite into. Hardly anything pulls you in; with the exception of Jamie’s borderline stalking of Beth (maybe a full story on her might have been more satisfying).

On the positive side, the performances are strong and Christopher Blauvelt’s cinematography is about the only thing that truly shines in “Certain Women”.

Rating: 2/5

Certain Women opens in theaters October 28.

“Certain Women” Official Trailer HD

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