Meek's Cutoff (PG)
Directed by Kelly Reichardt
Written by Jon Raymond
Screening at from 15th April 2011
Meek's Cutoff is based on true events (see wikipedia link below) and
tells the story of a group of pioneers on the Oregon Trail across America
in 1845. The protagonist of the title is 'mountain man' Stephen Meek who
knows a shortcut (or cutoff) over the Cascade Mountains. However things
don't go according to plan and the families are at the mercy of the elements,
and a man who is meek by name but not by nature.
The film is beautifully shot and meticulous in attention to period detail,
and like any good western has an enigmatic, native american presence.
It encapsulates the prejudices and attitudes that were prevalent at the
time (and still are in some places) and Michelle Williams character embodies
women over the centuries who dare to question patriarchal dominance. Scottish
actress Shirley Henderson is also another familiar face to British audiences.
The ending is unexpected and leaves the viewer to draw their own conclusions.
Like a pregnancy that has a few days to go, just when you think the denouement
of events are about to unfold...well I guess that's another kind of meek