Certain Women: a gem of US indie cinema with Lily Gladstone and Kristen Stewart (review)

Certain Women: a gem of US indie cinema with Lily Gladstone and Kristen Stewart (review)

Before Killers of the Flower Moon, the actress had already caused a sensation in this film by Kelly Reichardt. To be (re)watched this evening on Arte.

International Women's Rights Day is being celebrated a little early, this evening on Arte: the channel will program two English-language works highlighting the history of women's rights. First of all, The Suffragettesfilm by Sarah Gavron (Meet at Brick Lane) worn by Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham-Carter and Meryl Streep, which as its title indicates is interested in those who knew how to fight to obtain the right to vote, in England, at the beginning of the last century.

Here is the review of First, followed by its trailer. Note that The Suffragettes is also available for free streaming on the channel's website.

A pure story of historical emancipation (Meryl Streep makes a few appearances in the role of the legendary feminist activist Emmeline Pankhurst), the film stands out less for the sacrificial journey of its heroine, played by Carey Mulligan, than for the rage shown in places its staging. The memory of The Magdalene Sisters (2002), a shocking work by Peter Mullan about young girls brutalized in a religious institution intended for the re-education of “lost” women – which also included Anne-Marie Duff -, then appears, building coherent bridges against the patriarchy cinephiles.

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At 10:40 p.m., place at Some women, by Kelly Reichardt. The director, recently acclaimed for Showing Up, made a splash in 2017 by offering strong roles to Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, Kristen Stewart and Lily Gladstone. The latter has since amazed the public thanks to Killers of the Flower Moonby Martin Scorsese, a film for which she could well win an Oscar this weekend.

First advises you. Here is our review, originally published for its cinema release.

Independent filmmaker Kelly Reichardt continues her silent journey on the roads of America. Some women interweaves four portraits of, um… women (Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, Kristen Stewart and Lily Gladstone) in a form close to the sketch film, evoking the Short Cuts by Robert Altman. It's an intriguing, intimidating film, but quite fascinating if you decide not to be impressed by its long stretches of silence.

Reichardt's point is not so much to be found in the plots themselves as in the clues “westerners” scattered across the four corners of the frame. A train crossing a plain of Montana, Indians parading in a shopping center, a girl going to her evening classes on horseback… The idea here is to track down the echoes and vestiges of a primitive America, pre -industrial, then to bring it to the surface by repopulating it with female figures. As if it were, from a feminist perspective, ” to correct “ the masculine (macho?) version of Western history. The landscape is shown as both a prison and a constantly renewed promise of emancipation.

It all sounds horribly theoretical said like that, but Reichardt succeeds here, as in his masterpiece The Last Trackto combine his most intellectual biases with purely emotional outbursts, in a kind of cool languor which at once evokes less Short Cuts that the Altman seventies, the best, those who combined political anger and joint daze. Some women sometimes suffers from an excessive spirit of seriousness but is in any case valuable proof that US indie cinema is not condemned to rehashing the same ready-made formulas ad lib.

Showing up: Fascinating because it is unclassifiable (review)

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