First Cow: Kelly Reichardt’s pastry western lands on Mubi


CRITICAL – In this film, awarded at the Deauville American Film Festival, the filmmaker follows pioneers in Oregon in 1820 who made their fortunes by stealing the milk of the only cow in the county.

A cow, a cook, an immigrant. With this absurd formula, filmmaker Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy) brings back the myth of the West and its wide open spaces in the most perfect outline. Noticed last year at Telluride and at the Berlinale, awarded at the Deauville American Film Festival First Cow arrives on our screens via the MUBI platform. It all started with the discovery, nowadays in an Oregon forest, of human bones by a walker and her dog. Who do they belong to?

After this prologue, the film is teleported in 1820 to meet their owners: two very strange individuals whose life as pioneers is harsh. Starving hut, overwhelming mud, fortune, comfort and material possessions are scarce. That doesn’t stop Cookie (John Magaro), a cook in the service of rustic trappers, from coming to the rescue and feeding King-Lu (Orion Lee), a Chinese sailor who hides naked like a worm in the thickets to escape very Russians

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