6.3/10
12,096
96 user 177 critic

Certain Women (2016)

Trailer
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 »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film marks the third collaboration between Michelle Williams and Kelly Reichardt. The previous were Wendy and Lucy (2008) and Meek's Cutoff (2010). See more »

Goofs

When the Rancher travels to Livingston in search of the Teacher, she drives right through her destination and into Bozeman, about 25 miles west. She passes the Bear Canyon exit off I-90, westbound, and the stoplight she passes is S Tracy Ave, with the Ellen Theatre on the right. Suddenly, she strolls past the Stockman Bar, and is magically in Livingston, where she wakes up alongside the Mint Bar. See more »

Quotes

The Rancher: Why were you afraid of selling shoes?
Elizabeth Travis: Have you ever sold shoes?
The Rancher: I mean, why were you afraid you couldn't get anything else?
Elizabeth Travis: I don't know. Because my mom works in a school cafeteria, my sister in a hospital laundry. So, selling shoes is the nicest job a girl from my family's supposed to get.
See more »

Connections

Featured in MsMojo: Top 10 Greatest Laura Dern Performances (2020) See more »

Soundtracks

Clouds
Written by Michael Anthony Nicastro and Matthew Jared Lieberman
Performed by Magic Bronson
Published by House of Hassle by arrangement with Bank Robber Music
Courtesy of War Cry Records
See more »

User Reviews

 
the power of stillness
13 October 2016 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. This is surely one of the most intriguing movies of the year that is about women and by a woman. Writer/director Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy, 2008) has adapted the short stories from Maile Meloy into a film with 3 segments focusing on the daily perseverance of three women in small town Montana (including a rare Wyoming joke).

The first segment has lawyer Laura Dern returning to the office after an … umm … "long lunch meeting". Waiting for her is her client played by Jared Harris ("Mad Men"). The frustration between the two is palpable. Things take a turn for the worse as the sheriff calls Dern to the scene where Harris has taken a hostage at gunpoint. The issues on display here include the lack of respect for a female attorney, her unsatisfying personal life, and the one-way trust that can happen in times of desperation.

In the next story, we follow Michelle Williams and her husband James LeGros as they meet with a lonely elderly neighbor (Rene Auberjonis) and offer to buy some limestone blocks that have been sitting on his property for decades. The subtlety of the conversation embodies the missing respect and power of Ms. Williams' character.

Emotions are exploding beneath the surface in the third segment featuring horse handler Lily Gladstone as she stumbles into a class being taught by Kristen Stewart, and is immediately captivated by the smart young teacher. Where this attraction leads is further commentary on the challenges faced by those trying to escape the daily drudgery of their lives.

The above recaps don't come close to capturing the extraordinary quiet and stillness that director Reichardt uses in an emotionally powerful manner. These three women are all intelligent and filled with both pride and visceral disappointment … each quietly suffering, yet trudging forward with the emptiness each day brings. They each have a feeling of isolation – even if they aren't truly alone, and failed or lackluster relationships certainly play a role.

The acting and cinematography (film, not digital!) is as expert as the directing. Ms. Gladstone is truly a standout by saying few words out loud, but speaking volumes with her open and pleading eyes. The nuance of each scene is where the most interest is, and the overall mood of the characters and tone of the stories overcome the fact that we are plopped into these lives with little or no backstory. As each one softly crashes (two figuratively, one literally), we understand these are the faces of strong women who will continue to do what's necessary … even if that's shoveling horse poop. The film is dedicated to Ms. Reichardt's dog Lucy (a key to her personal and professional life).


83 of 125 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 96 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

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 »

Edit

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed