First Cow

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Movie Info & Cast

Synopsis

A taciturn loner and skilled cook (John Magaro) has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, though he only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee) also seeking his fortune; soon the two collaborate on a successful business, although its longevity is reliant upon the clandestine participation of a nearby wealthy landowner's prized milking cow. From this simple premise Reichardt constructs an interrogation of foundational Americana that recalls her earlier triumph Old Joy in its sensitive depiction of male friendship, yet is driven by a mounting suspense all its own. Reichardt again shows her distinct talent for depicting the peculiar rhythms of daily living and ability to capture the immense, unsettling quietude of rural America.

Cast

  • Alia Shawkat
  • John Magaro
  • Rene Auberjonois
  • Toby Jones
  • Ewen Bremner
  • Scott Shepherd
  • Orion Lee
  • Gary Farmer
  • Ted Rooney
  • Lily Gladstone

Did You Know?

Trivia

  • First Cow (2019) is the first Kelly Reichardt film to receive a PG-13 rating.
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Atom User Reviews

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Very down-to-earth in the end, historically venturous!

EK
Edwin K

Metacritic

80
Mar 4, 2020

Its quiet humanism and painstaking attention to detail are sure to appeal to the core audience which has faithfully followed her for more than a decade.

Stephen Whitty
Screen Daily
80
Sep 4, 2019

While not a lot happens in First Cow by the standards of most two-hour narrative films, and some may wish for a less open-ended conclusion, the drama's rough-edged lyricism kept me rapt the entire time.

Metacritic review by David Rooney
David Rooney
The Hollywood Reporter