For years now, Kelly Reichardt has chronicled the American northwest in its most humane moments, whether through the lens of an impoverished woman clinging to her last threads of survival (Wendy & Lucy), an embattled band of settlers in 1845 attempting to find safe land (Meek’s Cutoff), or a roving band of small-time eco-terrorists hoping to make a statement (Night Moves). In Reichardt’s work, survival is less a matter of rousing success or triumph over easy adversity than a constant reality. When you’re just getting by, every small setback can be an apocalypse unto itself.
The trailer for Reichardt’s latest film, Certain Women, suggests the continuation of these themes in the director’s typically understated fashion. Framed as a triptych and based on Maile Meloy’s short story collection Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It, Certain Women tells three different stories of everyday women in modern-day Montana, as they struggle with everything from marital woes to unexpected life obligations to even a hostage crisis. The film stars Reichardt regular Michelle Williams, in addition to Kristen Stewart (who’s on a roll with this arthouse phase of her career) and Laura Dern. During our coverage of Sundance 2016, Michael Roffman found that “Meloy’s tranquil collection of American snapshots comes to life with gripping realism and brutal emotion. It’s an ode to this country’s oft-forgotten middle, where the struggle is, indeed, very real.”
Certain Women will enter into limited release through IFC on October 14th. Check out the film’s trailer below.