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Certain Women (2016)

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2:06 | Trailer
The lives of three women intersect in small-town America, where each is imperfectly blazing a trail.

Director:

Kelly Reichardt

Writers:

Kelly Reichardt (screenplay by), Maile Meloy (based on stories by)
12 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Laura Dern ... Laura
James Le Gros ... Ryan
Jared Harris ... Fuller
Ashlie Atkinson ... Secretary
Guy Boyd ... Personal Injury Lawyer
Edelen McWilliams ... Fuller's Wife
John Getz ... Sheriff Rowles
James Jordan ... Hostage Specialist
Matt McTighe ... Officer Tommy Carroll
Joshua T. Fonokalafi Joshua T. Fonokalafi ... Amituana
Michelle Williams ... Gina
Sara Rodier ... Guthrie
Rene Auberjonois ... Albert
Lily Gladstone ... The Rancher
Stephanie Campbell Stephanie Campbell ... Teacher 1
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Storyline

Certain Women drops us into a handful of intersecting lives across Montana. A lawyer (Laura Dern) tries to defuse a hostage situation and calm her disgruntled client (Jared Harris), who feels slighted by a workers' compensation settlement. A married couple (Michelle Williams and James Le Gros) breaks ground on a new home but exposes marital fissures when they try to persuade an elderly man to sell his stockpile of sandstone. A ranch hand (Lily Gladstone) forms an attachment to a young lawyer (Kristen Stewart), who inadvertently finds herself teaching a twice-weekly adult education class, four hours from her home. Written by Polly_Kat

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Four women striving to forge their own paths amidst the wide-open plains of the American Northwest.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 February 2017 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Kelly Reichardt Project See more »

Filming Locations:

Montana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$60,898, 16 October 2016

Gross USA:

$1,087,585

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,526,698
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kristen Stewart's usual approach to learning her lines is to quickly memorize them and then alter some wording to add idiosyncrasies to her characters. During the shooting of this film, she was told by the director that she would have to say her lines word for word, stating in an interview that "words are very important to her (Kelly Reichardt)." See more »

Goofs

When Elizabeth Travis first starts her school law course, she begins writing her name as "Eliz..." on the blackboard, then wipes it out and simply writes "Beth". A little later a fully written but crossed out "Elizabeth" appears next to the "Beth". See more »

Quotes

Laura: It'd be so lovely to think that if I were a man I could explain the law and people would listen and say, "Okay."
See more »

Connections

References Antiques Roadshow (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Play with My Heart
Performed by Taye Johnson
Courtesy of Yebo Music by arrangement with Bank Robber Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The art of story telling about ordinary lives
2 November 2016 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

"Certain Women" (2016 release; 107 min.) brings several stories about ordinary women in a remote community in Montana. As the movie opens, we get to know Laura Wells, a lawyer who just had a quickie with her lover over lunch time ("I had a meeting", she says to her assistant upon getting back to the office). Waiting for Laura is a disgruntled client, who feels he's been cheated out of an injury settlement he feels he's entitled to. An exasperated Laura decides to take him to another lawyer for a second opinion. At this point we're 10 min. into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

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. Certain camera shots seemingly last forever. I don't mean to be snobby, but one of the reviews posted here gives this movie the lowest possible rating and compares it to 'watching paint dry'. I feel rather sorry for that person that he or she cannot appreciate a high quality movie like "Certain Women" (it is not a coincidence that this is rated 96% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes).

"Certain Women" premiered at the Sundance film festival earlier this year to great acclaim, and finally opened this past weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Tuesday evening screening where I saw this at 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!


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