FIRST COW – Review by Karen Gordon

Some movies deal with the settling of the American West as mythic. And then there are films like writer/director Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow, which strips it down to its basics for a more human scale and poetic vision of the Western era. Minus winners and losers, villains and heroes, this is a sparsely settled, muddy world where some people seek fortunes, and others do what they need day-to-day to survive.

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PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE – Review by Karen Gordon

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait De La Jeune Fille En Feu) is a stately-paced slow-burn of a film about repression, love, and the secret life of women in the 18th century, and beyond. Writer/Director Céline Sciamma sets her film in 1770 in France. Painter Marianne has been summoned to an isolated house on a rugged island in Brittany and commissioned to paint a portrait of a lovely young woman named Heloise. The job is straightforward. The circumstances are not.

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