The 46th Telluride Film Festival welcomed the premiere of Kelly Reichardt‘s “First Cow,” a story about companionship critics are calling “wondrous” and another sweet bow for the director.
With “First Cow,” Reichardt places her focus in human connection and finding meaning through the thick of things. The film stars John Magaro and Orion Lee.
The official synopsis from A24:
A loner and cook (John Magaro) has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, though he only finds connection with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee). The men collaborate on a business, although its longevity is reliant upon the participation of a wealthy landowner’s prized milking cow.
Reichardt’s previous work includes “Wendy and Lucy,” “Old Joy” and “Night Moves.” The award-winning “Certain Women” gave her a Best Director nomination at the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards as well as Best Film at the 2016 London Film Festival.
For IndieWire, Eric Kohn talks of Reichardt’s deep compassion with intertwining natural beauty and humankind’s relation to it. He writes:
Once again, Reichardt has crafted a wondrous little story about two friends roaming the natural splendors of the Pacific Northwest, searching for their place in the world. The appeal of this hypnotic, unpredictable movie comes from how they find that place through mutual failure, and the nature of that outcome in the context of an early, untamed America has rich implications that gradually seep into the frame.
Those who saw “First Cow” shared their thoughts from the Telluride experience via Twitter:
#firstcow is a simple film that meanders a tad too long to work for me. The crowd seemed to enjoy the straightforward and easy nature of the movie more than I did though. #TFF46 #TellurideFilmFestival
— Mark Johnson 🎬 (@MarkLikesMovies) August 31, 2019
Kelly Reichardt’s FIRST COW is a standout from a filmmaker who always makes distinctive, special movies. I’ve been hyping it to moviegoers here at #TellurideFilmFestival all wknd (and only wishing it were showing on even bigger screens)! pic.twitter.com/4PTUgd1QFa
— eugene hernandez (@eug) September 1, 2019
First Cow – everything I love about cinema. So richly detailed, I’ve never wanted to live inside a movie so bad 🙁 always love to see ewen bremner pic.twitter.com/08CvlOB2K3
— captain tying knots ⛵️⚓️ (@fassbendears) August 31, 2019
Thank you Kelly Reichardt & @A24 for FIRST COW—I can’t remember being so happy watching a film. It touches on Western themes (friendship, roughing it, nostalgia, love for animals, masculinity), but with a gentle joyfulness new to the genre. A must-see! #TellurideFilmFestival pic.twitter.com/eCvrYmtcLT
— Johanna Evans (@jrtevans) September 1, 2019
First Cow: Kelly Reichardt's films are always so beautiful and longer through a time in someone's life. Picks up the pace and antics in the third act but lovely altogether!
— rachael 🎃 (@maxfischers) September 1, 2019
Very much liked Kelly Reichatdt’s First Cow. Wonderfully subtle performance by John Magaro. #Telluride
— Gregory Ellwood – Telluride – The Playlist 🎬 (@TheGregoryE) August 31, 2019
FIRST COW: Kelly Reichardt is a master. This is a beautiful bookend with OLD JOY.
— Sean Fennessey (@SeanFennessey) August 31, 2019
“First Cow” is produced by Film Science. A24 will be distributing with an official release date for 2020 to be announced. The film will be premiering at the New York Film Festival September 28.