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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.

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(screenplay by), (based on stories by)
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12 wins & 45 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Laura
... Ryan
... Fuller
... Secretary
... Personal Injury Lawyer
... Fuller's Wife
... Sheriff Rowles
... Hostage Specialist
... Officer Tommy Carroll
Joshua T. Fonokalafi ... Amituana
... Gina
... Guthrie
... Albert
... The Rancher
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

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Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

22 February 2017 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Kelly Reichardt Project  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$60,898, 16 October 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,032,942, 25 November 2016
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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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

Gina: God, you really can't help it.
Ryan: What?
Gina: Making me the bad guy. Always.
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Connections

References Antiques Roadshow (1997) 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
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User Reviews

 
There are limits...
7 November 2016 | by See all my reviews

I appreciate a pretty wide variety of films. I wouldn't call myself an indie junkie, but I like creativity that gets me to think or be aware in a new way and indie can certainly do that. Of course, sometimes aspects of a film will evade me (what was X about? what did Y mean?) and then I seek out others--and IMDb--to fill in the gaps.

I have to admit, I left this film lost and unsatisfied. Too MUCH of it was a gap for me. Sure, I had some basic insights: how the normal-ness of life is worthy of attention and how the painful constancy of loneliness exists in so many lives. The acting was good. I found the long pans and the "un-action" movie action interesting. At least for a while. But by about halfway, that was it. Those insights just repeated themselves. I spent the second half hoping for something to shed light, to at least tie some loose ends together. But it never came.

And it wasn't just me and my friend. As we sat in the emptying theater after the movie, discussing our thoughts about it, an elderly lady shuffled out behind us and said, "I don't mean to blow my own horn, but I have a Ph.D. in English Literature. And STILL I can't figure out what that movie was about! Do you?" So it wasn't just me.

This is all I can conclude: This film slowly detailed 3 vignettes, suggesting there was something being told. Then it had nothing to say. Maybe it's a Zen thing. But it wasn't a satisfying experience for me. The stories came out of nowhere and went nowhere, albeit with some beautiful scenes and emotions presented along the way and excellent acting. When it was over, there was no "there" there for me. I think that's what left me feeling unsatisfied. It was like a pretty mosaic left in pieces. I can infer that someone formed a design with it and I want to see that design. But it's in pieces and, try as I might, I can't put the pieces together. In fact, it feels like some pieces are missing. So I walk away baffled.

Maybe this says more about me than this movie. Whatever the case, I walked away unsettled and not in an enlightened way. That didn't feel good.


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