‘First Cow’: Gentle Moments Shouldn’t Overshadow Kelly Reichardt’s Enraged Tragedy Of American Greed

‘First Cow’: Gentle Moments Shouldn’t Overshadow Kelly Reichardt’s Enraged Tragedy Of American Greed
Some spoilers follow for “First Cow.”

Kelly Reichardt’s films are chameleons. At first, they seem like romanticized versions of American tropes: the bond between a girl and her dog, in “Wendy and Lucy;” a pair of friends on a camping trip, in “Old Joy;” the pioneering spirit of early settlers, in “Meek’s Cutoff.” But look again, and the deeper emotional truths of these films are revealed: the crippling grip of poverty; the foreign terror of the frontier; the loneliness of adulthood.

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