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Certain Women (2016)

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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 & 45 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

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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,032,942, 25 November 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Film Science,Stage 6 Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Reichardt revealed that one of the reasons she chose to shoot on film was because snow appears "flat" in other formats. Interestingly enough, when she began shooting, there was little to no snow at all in Montana. 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

Gina: Thanks for helping out.
Guthrie: No one asked me.
Gina: No one asked me either. I just kinda figured it out all by myself.
See more »

Connections

References Antiques Roadshow (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Boats to Build
Written by Guy Clark and Verlon Thompson
Performed by Guy Clark
Published by EMI April Music Inc. on behalf of itself, Ides of March Music and GSC Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
How Is this a Film?
12 October 2016 | by sifucrockettSee all my reviews

Kelly Reichardt knows how to use a camera. Problem is, she only uses it for filming, not for telling a story. Doesn't help that she chooses non stories to tell. Or is that not to tell?

My wife and I have tried hard with her films, but after this dismal effort we've placed an embargo upon all her future work. Enough's enough.

The long, dull, opening scenic shot of barren land and a train rolling in sets the dross tone of the film and everything in it.

Ironically, despite the title, the only interesting character and trace of story is in Jared Harris' character.

The episodes/vignettes that comprise this film aren't enough to fill a bad 30 minute TV slot. There's simply nothing there, and nothing told.

What you do get, are endless scenes watching people doing nothing: Like someone driving, or feeding animals, or just looking at nothing. Scenes that have simply nothing to say — at least not of any interest.

But you'll also get what are nothing more than 'stills': Like a shot of an empty room AFTER someone's left.

Anyone can point a camera and press record. And that's all you get with this piece from Reichardt. No story. There's nothing special or particular about how she films. It's very much just point and shoot, usually with boring subject matter, and next to no movement.

As writers, we learn that every scene must reveal character and move the story forward. You will see in this film exactly what happens when you don't do that.

Somebody had the poor taste to compare this film to I'm Not a Serial Killer. Absolutely not. And let's not get started on assertions that it's "required viewing."

And like all independent films that are directed by people so entranced by their own sense of magnificence, this film ends abruptly with an unprompted, unmotivated CUT to black in the middle of yet another meaningless scene.

Reichardt's choice of when to end raises the burning question: Why wait for this dull, repetitive, meaningless scene when virtually every scene before it would have served the same point?

What disturbs me most, is that someone thought this was worth funding.


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