Meek’s Cutoff is a Tedious Nightmare

meeksThe second most interesting thing that happens in Meek’s Cutoff.

Meek’s Cutoff (2010)
Directed by Kelly Reichardt
Written by Jonathan Raymond
104 min.

Warning: Mild spoilers ahead.

One review I read of Meek’s Cutoff called it an “anti-Western”, and that title is apt. Director Kelly Reichardt does approach the genre from a unique perspective. She shows the earliest journeys made by settlers to the American far West as they really were: really fucking tedious most of the time.

There’s a wagon train of eight people lost and thirsty in the Oregon desert. They think their guide—the asshole racist Stephen Meek—is responsible, either from negligence or malice. A lone Native American shows up and Meek captures him. They think the Native American might know how to find water, so they take him along. They get into an argument when one of their wagons crashes. Then they see a living tree. I guess that means they find water, but I don’t know because the movie ends before anything else happens. That’s not a synopsis, that’s literally every significant plot point in the whole thing.
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