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24 Dec 2011

Meek's Cutoff

This is one of my top film recommendations for 2011, released in the UK in April, Directed by Kelly Reichardt.
Set in 1845 the film sees a group of settlers travelling across the Oregon desert who find themselves stranded in the harsh conditions. They are torn between following the advice of Meek, a cock-sure self-styled frontier guide who seems to be leading them on a merry dance, or following their prisoner; a native American AKA the presumed enemy of their people.
The casting is superb, and the central performances from Bruce Greenwood as Meek and Michelle Williams as Emily provide Meek's Cutoff with the conflicting voices of reason and potential insanity. The bleak yet beautiful settings also deserve a mention as they provide the oppressive, omnipotent hand of doom that persistently tightens its grip around the weary, dehydrated travellers' throats.
In a year when the great True Grit was deservedly taking up all the limelight for the whole genre, Meek's Cutoff deserves special recognition.

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