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There are limits...
eyasta7 November 2016
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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Lugubrious plot and stillborn character arcs sink this Montana themed triptych
Turfseer3 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Kelly Reichardt wrote and directed this triptych of a screenplay set in Montana, based on a collection of short stories by Maile Meloy. Reichardt is known for slow-moving plots and prefers character studies to fill out her often lugubrious narratives. In each of the three segments that constitute Certain Women, Reichardt's protagonists are women who attempt to maintain a quiet dignity despite being stifled by people devoted to blocking their self-actualization.

In the first segment, Laura Dern plays attorney Laura Wells who is unable to shake off disgruntled client Fuller (Jared Harris), who seeks to re-open a civil suit but has been informed by both Laura and her attorney colleague that he has no legal leg left to stand on. When Fuller takes a security guard hostage at his former place of employment, Laura is called in by the local police to act (in the unlikely scenario) as hostage negotiator. When Fuller lets the security guard go and asks Laura to give him a head start as he scurries out of the back of the building, Laura immediately informs the police of Fuller's whereabouts, and he's placed under arrest.

In the second and least successful of the segments, Michelle Williams plays Gina who is married to Ryan (James Le Gros). Gina is constantly annoyed with her husband who appears to indulge their rebellious teenage daughter. Gina has placed herself in charge of building a new family home out in a rural area—all she has to do is convince Albert, an elderly family acquaintance, to part with the sandstone on his property which she would like to use in the construction of the new home. Albert tentatively agrees to selling the sandstone and soon afterward, Gina's workers come to take possession of it. But when Gina waves to him as her stares out the window from his home, he doesn't react. Did Gina intimidate him into doing something he didn't really want to do? This is perhaps the only real ambiguity in Reichardt's "what you see is what you get" narrative.

The third segment features Jamie (Lily Gladstone), a young Native American ranch hand, who stumbles upon a continuing education class on educational law taught by attorney Beth Travis (Kristen Stewart). Beth amazingly travels four hours each way to teach the class and Jamie ends up taking an immediate liking towards the moonlighting attorney. Soon afterward they go out to eat a couple of times at a greasy spoon but eventually Beth fails to show up at the class, much to Jamie's chagrin. Jamie discovers that Beth stopped teaching because she could no longer tolerate the travel time.

Jamie decides to make the four hour drive to see if she can find Beth. When she finally tracks Beth down, they have a brief conversation but nothing comes of it. Lonely Jamie makes the trek back to the farm. End of segment.

Certain Women is very loosely interconnected by a few plot strands. Laura has been having an affair with Gina's husband, and Beth happens to be employed in the same building where Laura works.

If you can't stand lugubrious plots, Certain Women is an immediate "no-go." In terms of character development (the area where Reichardt is supposed to shine), that part of the narrative is also exceptionally weak. None of the three protagonists has much of a discernible internal arc, except maintaining the aforementioned "quiet dignity." One wonders what to think of Laura and Gina—their egos are intact and they seem to accomplish their goals—despite the obstacles put in their way (in Laura's case, it's resolving her "bad client" problem; with Gina it's consummating the sale of the sandstone and moving ahead in spite of her husband and daughter's "bad attitude"). Yet nothing much happens except for the quiet satisfaction of weathering a few not very dramatic opponents.

The case of Jamie is a bit different. She's the only protagonist who doesn't get what she wants, and is perhaps the only "sad sack" of the three. Sad sacks unfortunately don't make for good drama so when Jamie arrives back home, we're forced to revel in her failure.

If you must see Certain Women, see it for the plush Montana landscapes and the capable acting on the part of the principals. Unfortunately, good parts for women in the cinema today remain hard to come by. Certain Women certainly fails to contribute to such a pantheon.
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2 hours you can't get back.
superoldies25 November 2016
When I saw high reviews for this, my wife & I settled in to be entertained. So we waited, and waited...being from a small town I thought perhaps I could relate. Not many people will "get this" movie. Follow 3 small town people around for a day or two. Exciting? Not at all. Something's gotta happen soon!.....end credits. Pretty much every day life for some of us, nothing exciting, as much drama as watching the neighbor let the dog out...and sometimes that's more interesting than this film was.

Apparently this is one of the director's best works. I'll dust off the cobwebs, and skip those other movies as this was a complete aimless bore. Just one opinion from a speechless movie fan that was waiting to be entertained and would have had more fun watching paint dry. The only people that will find this compelling & entertaining (you have to be pretty damn desperate) is someone who has never lived in a small town, or the Mid-West, and then you probably won't understand it. To think money was spent producing such an empty plate, is beyond me.
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A tedious and pointless film, quite literally, about NOTHING....
cfourie63 April 2017
I was massively relieved when this film finally ended, after having endured the director's apparent reluctance to edit out any parts of long pointless film sequences of snow melting (or not melting), horses being fed, people saying little or nothing at all and then having no real end to speak of. If this was intended to be a film about three very uninteresting women with boring lives then it succeeds. To be avoided.....
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Time NOT well wasted
roninator13 October 2017
The story is non existent. 1h47m could have been done in 20m with the same content. I'm only sad I cannot give a 0 star review. Which is sad as I recognized one of the actors and have enjoyed many films he was in.

Please don't bother watching, you will most certainly regret wasting your time.

I have nothing else to write about as there was nothing to write about at all. The description is vaguely accurate. During the whole movie we were waiting for the story to unfold, yet nothing happened. I have only heard of movies like this before as I tend to not watch any, but I thought it would have been a good movie for the two of us to watch. I am sorry I even saw the title.
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Teenagers could have made a better film
elodie-guerin20 February 2017
If you think the trailer is cryptic and "i need to see that movie to see what it's all about", don't. Really. Do. Not.

I just saw the movie in the theatre and it's exactly like the trailer. No story, no music, no real message and no link between the lives of these four women except that each of them is supremely boring. At the end of it, most people were laughing like me, kind of stung, baffled, at the lack of action at the beginning, the middle and even the end.

For the LGBT community, nothing interesting to see there either.

Save your money and go see something else.
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Luxury of uselessness
qeter2 November 2016
Seen at the Viennale 2016: Definitely a wasted luxury to work with so talented actresses just to finish with a meditative piece of filmed daily routine in US hometowns. Why did Kelly Reichardt not go the whole way to get authentic realistic footage? And simple shoot pictures of some real people in an US hometown? A documentary with real people would produce even a more honest picture of daily routine. There was really no need to take the lifetime of top-notch actresses for this. Apart from that I must admit, Kristen Stewart is a really treat to watch on the big screen. I wonder, why do some people have such an extraordinary aura?...
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How Is this a Film?
sifucrockett12 October 2016
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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Not entertaining - maybe I missed something
osbozac29 October 2016
This movie has great actors and was playing at Amerst Cinema which usually shows only very good films, many independent. However, I feel compelled to say this is not a movie worth paying to see in the theater. It watches like a hastily finished school film project. It had no real storyline, just slice of life stuff that wasn't really too interesting. Maybe I'm not as sophisticated as some film people but I'd guess at least 9 out of 10 people who watch this film won't enjoy it at all and those few that claim they did will do so only because they think it makes some sort of deep point but, if given truth serum no one would or could actually claim to have been entertained. As an aside, it also makes the wonderful state of Montanna seem like a terrible place, which it's not! Anyway, wait for Netflix because this is not worth paying your hard earned money to see - trust me!
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What A waste of time?!
asem_soufi16 September 2017
I hated myself for watching this movie! My wife hated me for making her watch this movie! I never felt this about any other movie in my whole life!!! There was absolutely nothing to see, no stories, no nothing! There was no message to deliver! No plot! Nothing! You will be much more entertained watching the news!
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Don't see it
atlastu26 November 2016
I like to see independent films,they have certain charm to them,they talk about personal things,without any showing off or big budget stuff in the big productions. But when it comes to this film, i failed to see the purpose to it. So all the leading characters are women,great then what. Sadly nothing,it's painful to see how much slow and boring it is. And you keep waiting for the big reveal ,the one that will make all this meaningless stories finally make sense. but that never happens as well. I mean what's the connection between the four women,what's so special about them,why are we watching them. No clue. I guess not all the independent films are worth seeing,this one is no exception.
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Like watching paint dry
dquade424 October 2016
Perhaps the worst movie I have seen. Granted there is a great cast of interesting actors, which piqued my interest and is the primary the reason I had higher expectations and was so disappointed. However, it's not the acting that makes this movie terrible, the acting is fine. It's the story line, or lack thereof, that makes this movie a real dud. What was the point? Three loosely connected stories featuring women with mundane lives. There is no sound track, the cinematography is bleak and mediocre, the character development is practically non-existent and the ending leaves you flat and empty feeling. It truly was a waste of $12 and 2 hours of my time. With the myriad of movies to choose from, do yourself a favor and pick something else.
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the power of stillness
ferguson-613 October 2016
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).
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I know this film is going to attract art-house type lovers and fans of Williams, Gladstone and Stewart, but they are about the only ones that it reaches out to.
Boristhemoggy14 October 2016
Firstly, the performances of every cast member were second to none. For the women: I used to call Kristen Stewart "One Face" as she never has any animation at all. Yet she handles a variety of roles with professional aplomb mixed with humility. She doesn't disappoint in this. Michelle Williams is as awesome as ever. Laura Dern for the first time in my life made me believe in her role. Lily Gladstone is amazing. She reminded me so much of Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone. I think we'll see a lot more of her in the future. For the men: Rene Auberjonois was unrecognisable and DS9 does not follow him here. He's detached and dedicated to the role. Jared Harris is as convincing as you'd expect him to be and even has some of his fathers mannerisms. In the hostage scene it's very apparent. James leGros of course can't do anything wrong in my eyes and I'd be surprised if he did. Him and Michelle Williams made a perfect couple and it was joyous watching them.

The reason I watched the film to the end was a joy in watching a combination of them all, especially Lily Gladstone. The reason I enjoyed the film was because of their fabulous performances, especially with so little to get their teeth into. The reason I'll remember it was Rene Auberjonois, Michelle Williams and Lily Gladstone all performing fine, memorable roles.

The reason I will never watch it again, nor recommend it to anyone unless they want to see dedicated performances outside the Hollywood glitterati school of acting, is that the stories themselves were weak and depth less. With the exception of the Gladstone/Stewart story I was not entertained by the stories, only by the acting and the cinematography which I think was understatedly excellent.

Gladstone and Stewart made the film, and I desperately wanted Stewart/Travis to turn up at the end and look over the split door as Gladstone/Jamie mucked out the horses. I was actually slightly disappointed she didn't.

If you love great acting and bouts of great cinematography watch it. If you love any of the cast then watch it. If you love a good story, don't waste your time.
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The art of story telling about ordinary lives
paul-allaer2 November 2016
"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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Masterful Storytelling, with Emotion Revealed by Actions
vsks3 November 2016
You know from the movie previews and the rumblings from the multiplex's adjacent theater that today's movies are heavily weighted toward "action films." Writer-director-editor Kelly Reichardt could singlehandedly reverse that trend with Certain Women, which can most succinctly be described as an "inaction film." It's kind of hard to get used to Reichardt's pace, so you might watch this and think "Wha---?" Here, the drama is at the deep inside the characters, hidden from all views except the closest. And that's what it gets from Reichardt—"a poet of silences and open spaces," says A.O. Scott in the New York Times. Based on short stories by Maile Meloy, the film is set in and around Livingston, Montana, and the views of the lonely snowswept plains are breathtaking. The story is presented in three separate vignettes that barely intersect. In the first, Laura Dern plays Laura Wells, a lawyer trying to convince her persistent client (Jared Harris) that he can't sue his former employer for on-the-job injuries because he already accepted a settlement. The client doesn't believe it until a male lawyer tells him the same thing. She's disappointed at many levels—with her clients, her career, her love life. The middle vignette involves Gina (Michelle Williams), a married woman with a disaffected teenage daughter. She and her husband are building a new house, and she hopes to convince a slightly addled, elderly neighbor (Rene Auberjonois) to sell them a pile of unused sandstone blocks in his front yard. Behind Gina's bright smile, you can feel her irritation that the neighbor focuses his attention not on her request but on her husband, eliding the decision, and finally the husband sells her out. Even within the bosom of her family, it's clear, she's alone. The dreamiest and most poignant sequence follows the young woman Jamie—beautifully underplayed by Lily Gladstone—on her daily routine, feeding and caring for a group of horses on a remote ranch. The repetitiveness of her tasks in the snowy, mountains in the distance, is mesmerizing. Her routine and her equilibrium are disturbed by a chance acquaintance with Beth, a harried young lawyer played by Kristen Stewart, overwhelmed by her own, very different grind. The extent of Jamie's disturbance is painfully revealed in her quiet face, upon which "silent passion surges like an underground stream," Scott says. The acting is subtle and true, and Reichardt closely follows the dictum, "show, don't tell." Her characters don't scream and rail and tell you what their issues are. You see it laid bare in front of you.
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Only a movie critic could love this pointless boring failure.
jbriskey-3054613 January 2018
Boring pointless nonsense. No plot. Unpleasant characters about which we know nothing and so care nothing about, doing nothing interesting, in unpleasant uninteresting surroundings for no discernable reasons. Who cares? One of the worst movies we ever tried to watch. And, don't bother trying to turn up the brightness on your TV, the dismal cinematography is as dim as the characters portrayed. Gave it up after 45 minutes. Using your time instead to clean the trash cans will be more entertaining. Some critics say this movie is great because it shows "real" people, like all of us. We go to the movies to avoid people like us. If you listen to anything a movie "critic" says (like we did), you/we deserve a turkey like this.
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Study Guide For Viewer Repelling Movie
GrassRootsGuy24 October 2016
This trilogy feels like a film school end of term project.

Nice try and some good shots, but if you want to get paid...

Might get an academy award if there was one for "three slices of boring lives."

MY GF and I searched long and hard and after significant stretching decided the theme here might be

lawyers get involved with strange, lonely people and need a lot of discipline to detach from those who cannot be helped and sometimes, especially women, they are stuck to their tar baby clients...

Though it's not clear the one certain woman is a lawyer, she might be.

This will have great value for film students as a lesson in how to make a nicely shot movie that goes nowhere.

Take note of the "camera attached in and out of moving car or truck" shots with good audio, kids.

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Strong women, weak men, strong story.
jdesando1 November 2016
Director Kelly Reicart knows strong women and the strong circumstances they've faced moving West (Meek's Cutoff) and more than 100 years later the modern Northwest (Certain Women). Big Sky Country, Montana, is the modern setting: Billings, Bozeman, and environs, the places where three women are ignored by men, misunderstood by both men and women, and call many of the shots that may end up putting food on their tables and courage in their hearts.

Although feminists should be proud of the three heroines in Certain Women, their actions are not so much the stuff of heroics as they mostly navigate around misogyny and sloth in a world that mostly listens to men first even if the women are right most of the time.

Laura Wells (Laura Dern) is an attorney with not really a thriving practice, but she gets along. One client, Fuller (Jared Harris), is a worker trying in vain to get more compensation for an accident while he slowly becomes derailed. In the most fraught incident of the trilogy, she must enter a building with a bullet-proof vest to face him as he holds a guard hostage. That she is the one to confront him, and not a crisis squad, is one of the stories' touches that clarifies why the heroines are "certain" women.

Gina Lewis (Michelle Williams) is building a prairie house, part of which will be built with a pile of stones, she, not her husband, tries to convince an old man to sell. Her quiet resolve in the face of mostly feckless men is not so much heroic as it is her certainty that she must be the strong one.

Jamie (Lily Gladstone), a portly ranch hand who falls for an evening school teacher-lawyer, Beth Travis (Kristen Stewart), is the least glamorous of the three (no I Phone for this cowgirl) but with an inner depth that eclipses the other two. Jamie and Beth's evening ride to the diner on a horse is romantic in a subtle way rarely seen before.

If you think I haven't described anything dramatically worthy of a full-length motion picture, you're right. The real drama bleeds out of the actors' interior depictions, the personal strength that overcomes diminishment by the vast plains, snow-capped mountains, and weak men.

Because the three episodes are derived from native Maile Maloy's short stories, Certain Women is a tour de force of feminism disguised as rambling stories of women making a hard living in a hard West. Hooray for them as the cowboys and the horses are not the real forces at work.
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Required viewing.
peoplepower-588-2273567 October 2016
Pretty fine piece of work, flawless.

But no one should review this film. Ignore the ratings. The best thing would be you sit down with the expectations you cultivated all your life, and take the trip. For my part, it was maybe 20 minutes after the closing credits I realized what had happened to me. And if you're lucky, you'll find out too.

I've written myself into a corner, and I don't care to discuss it. No wait, there is something I'd like to say here. The most interesting character is the director. Maybe that's how it should be. Kelly Reichardt is now required viewing for me. I wouldn't have guessed she was so young. And now I want to see her other work, but mostly where she goes from here.
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Low Budget Low Energy
sandy-34010 December 2017
Don't be fooled by all the exaggerated hype about this film. It's all a bunch of b.s. The actors were low energy, with no emotions to speak of. The story line is non-existent. It's boring and drags on and on and nothing ever happens. And I don't get this ridiculous description - 3 women's lives intersect - because they never do. None of them have to do with one another and it's all leading nowhere. The best actor in the whole film was the girl playing the farm hand - she was REAL. The others were blah, with not one interesting or redeeming quality. I feel bad for anyone who actually bought a ticket to this farce.
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Certain Women is purely indie. There is no drama, there is no comedy, it is just slices of people's lives at which, to some, maybe their dullest moments.
Amari-Sali8 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The story is split between three characters. There is Laura Wells (Laura Dern) who is a lawyer for this man named Will Fuller (Jared Harris) who is just a miserable man thanks to a work accident. Alongside her is Gina Lewis (Michelle Williams) who is a woman who, with her husband, owns a company and they are trying to acquire sandstone from a man named Albert (Rene Auberjonois). Lastly, there is Jamie (Lily Gladstone) and Beth (Kristen Stewart).

Jamie is a young woman who takes care of horses, keeps to herself, and doesn't seem to have much in the way of friends. Beth is a young woman who is a lawyer who, through reasons not fully explained, ends up teaching a class on school law in the town Jamie works in. Jamie enjoys her company and Beth mostly is just cordial.


I think every now and then a person should really see a movie which isn't trying to be over the top with the dramatics. For a lack of a better way of putting it, it cleans your palate. It helps you appreciate the lives people live, whether characters or real people, and how even the one or two odd connections we have can mean so much to someone.

For whether it is Laura and Will, Gina and Albert, or Jamie and Beth, one of the things this film highlights is one-half of each set being lonely and may not outright say they are craving attention, camaraderie, or someone to listen, but their actions speak volumes. Mind you, not to the point of crying or bawling your eyes out, but without anything being over the top, it pushes you to really pay attention to find something to grasp onto.

Low Points

With that said, this film was honestly boring as hell. I can try to make it seem like more than it is by speaking on how it focuses on the loneliness of life in parts of Montana but, at the end of the day, everyone is a square peg. For while Will can be slightly erratic, demanding, and likes reminding you how much of a victim he is, no one is really trying to engage him. They talk to him, but there aren't any passionate speeches or stories which make you care about what is going on in his life.

Same goes for everyone else. Albert is old and seemingly coming to the beginning of that point where he may need someone to check on him every now and then. Then with Jamie, she is a nice quiet girl who needs a friend that isn't a farm animal. Each story is sad in its own way and may make you think how luckily you are to have the connections you do have, but everything is so subtle and subdued that I think the appeal will be limited.
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Entrancing and atmospheric in unexpected ways
Red_Identity14 October 2016
Kelly Reichardt surely makes films like no one else right now, and without really trying too hard to be different, edgy, or unique. Her vision and voice just come across powerfully in her films, in their sensibilities and in their unspoken moments of quiet, harmony, and sensitivity. Although I wasn't really a fan of Night Moves, I was of Wendy and Lucy and of Meek's Cutoff. I believe this may be her best film yet. All three female leads (four if you want to count Stewart) do a really fine job. Particularly Lily Gladstone, who is a real force to be reckoned with and who I hope to see in the future again. This is a quiet and tender film, powerful for what it doesn't explicitly say rather than for what it does.
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Kelly Reichardt has created yet another nuanced and heart-wrenching masterpiece
freekyfridays15 March 2016
Kelly Reichardt has created yet another nuanced and heart-wrenching masterpiece, this time based on Montana writer Maile Meloy's short stories. Weaving together four reserved women's lives in Livingston, Montana may not sound like the kind of film that could climb its way into your innermost guts and set up a campfire; But that is exactly what this revelatory film did for me.

Reichardt's all-star cast members give some of their greatest recent performances, led by Laura Dern as a lovelorn lawyer, Michelle Williams as a persistent progressive parent, and Kristen Stewart as an obliviously motivated 20-something. But it's astounding newcomer Lily Gladstone who humbly steals the show, as a hard-working rancher. I must say that watching someone riding a horse has truly never been such a romantic experience in all my cinematic life. Like all of Kelly Reichardt's previous treasures — OLD JOY (2006), WENDY & LUCY (2008), MEEK'S CUTOFF (2010), NiGHT MOVES (2013) — her understanding of classic American cinema is boundless, allowing her to re-envision those stories and images, breathing her very particular brand of stoic yearning into each and every gesture.

Review is from my 2016 Sundance Film Festival wrap up at www.48hills.org
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Worst film (THIS IS NOT A FILM)
vicwalter-3744221 October 2016
This is for sure the worst film I ever see in my entire live. I never wrote a review before, but this film is so awful that i couldn't allow that some other people that wants to see this film (this is not a film), watch this film! Be advised that is boring, stupid, no-sense and a complete lose of time. DON'T WATCH THIS! But if you want to see something completely different that an movie, that is for you. This has no history, the scenes are very, very, very and very slow, no persons in this FILM have a bound with any others. The only thing that is not fully boring in the photography, but not make this film enjoyable. Like i said before RUN from this film, otherwise you will regret.
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