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Telluride: First Reactions for Kelly Reichardt’s ‘First Cow’ Call It Another “Wondrous” Journey Into Human Nature

first cow

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:


“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.

What do you think of the first reactions for “First Cow” out of Telluride? Did you see it at the fest? Comment your thoughts below!


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Written by Jessica Peña

Jessica Peña studied journalism at Volunteer State Community College before she began writing about film on a personal blog that sprouted from an electronic media course. She is now a film journalist for Awards Circuit, as well as a content editor and writer for the UK-based site JumpCut Online. She also loves the Child's Play/Chucky franchise with no end in sight.


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Joey Magidson

I’ll be seeing this one soon at NYFF and am intrigued, at least.



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