Certain Women (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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The expanses of the American Northwest take center stage in this intimately observed triptych from Kelly Reichardt. Adapted from three short stories by Maile Meloy and unfolding in self-contained but interlocking episodes, Certain Women navigates the subtle shifts in personal desire and social expectation that unsettle the circumscribed lives of its characters: a lawyer (Laura Dern) forced to subdue a troubled client; a woman (Michelle Williams) whose plans to construct her dream home reveal fissures in her marriage; and a night-school teacher (Kristen Stewart) who forms a tenuous bond with a lonely ranch hand (Lily Gladstone), whose unguardedness and deep attachment to the land deliver an unexpected jolt of emotional immediacy. With unassuming craft, Reichardt captures the rhythms of daily life in small-town Montana through these fine-grained portraits of women trapped within the landscape s wide-open spaces.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- New 2K digital transfer, supervised by director Kelly Reichardt and cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
- New interviews with the film s cast and crew, including Reichardt and executive producer Todd Haynes
- New interview with Maile Meloy, author of the stories on which the film is based
- PLUS: An essay by critic Ella Taylor
Top customer reviews
Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from writer-director-editor Kelly Reichardt, the acclaimed indie movie director who previously brought us "Wendy & Lucy" and "Meek's Cutoff" (both starring Michelle Williams, who returns here as well). The movie brings three basically unrelated stories (based on Maile Meloy's collection "Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It"), and they all involve very ordinary people and ordinary lives that are shook up in one way or another (I'm biting my lips here, but won't spoil anything). The first story stars Laura Dern as the lawyer and Jared Harris as the disgruntled client; the second story stars Michelle Williams as the wife/mother in a strained marriage. The best, though, is saved for last, when we watch with fascination (and heartbreak) what unfolds between Kristen Stewart (as the Livingston, MT lawyer teaching a school law class in faraway Belfry, MT) and Lily Gladsone (as the lonesome horse rancher attending the class). I cannot recall seeing Kristen Stewart being more authentic in any previous role, even as compared to her roles in, say, "On the Road" or "The Runaways". Another major plus for the movie is that Reichardt lets a scene develop and certain camera shots seemingly last forever, just wonderful. In all, this is yet another fantastic movie from Kelly Reichardt, demonstrating the art of storytelling about ordinary lives. It is not a coincidence that "Certain Women" is rated 92% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes!
"Certain Women" premiered at the 2016 Sundance film festival to great acclaim, and opened last Fall at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. (I have no idea why it's taken more than 6 months for Amazon to finally list this as a future DVD release.) The Tuesday evening screening where I saw this at in early November was attended very nicely, and you could hear a pin drop during much of the movie, as the audience seemed glued to their seat and the big screen. If you are in the mood for a top-notch indie movie with several great character studies and correlating outstanding acting performances, you cannot go wrong with this. "Certain Women" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!