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Certain Women


Stars: Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, Lily Gladstone, Kristen Stewart, Jared Harris, James Le Gros, René Auberjonois

Director: Kelly Reichardt

As some internet writers have already observed, this is nearly two hours of your life you can never reclaim. It gives us three (very) loosely connected stories, set in snowbound Montana, that lead pretty much nowhere and have no real ending.

Characters, particularly in segment three, perform the same slow actions time and again.

Dern plays a lawyer dealing with a man (Harris) who has blown his case for compensation and, in despair, takes a hostage (not sure what he thinks this will achieve). Next, Williams appears as a strong woman (whose husband - Le Gros - is sleeping with Dern) on her way to make an old man (Auberjonois) an offer for some sandstone. Lastly, native American horse rancher Gladstone conceives a passion for a temporary evening-class teacher (Stewart). Like the rest of the film, it doesn't amount to much.

This summary can't begin to convey the slowness of the film, or the boredom it engenders, unless you fancy watching scenery, people driving along by day and riding along in the dark, or loading slabs on to a truck.

With a cast this good, this must count as some sort of opportunity missed. On the shelf for two years, it should have stayed there.

David Quinlan

USA 2015. UK Distributor: Park Circus (Sony). Colour by Fotokem.
107 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 26 Feb 2017