Directed by Kelly Reichardt
The lives of three women intersect in small-town America, where each is imperfectly blazing a trail.
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★★★★ review by Patrick Devitt on Letterboxd
Kristen Stewart eats a hamburger and a grilled cheese sandwich.
This is cinema.
★★★★ review by Lucy on Letterboxd
certain(ly gay) women
★★★★½ review by SilentDawn on Letterboxd
Kelly Reichardt's Certain Women aches with the wind of a thousand lives lost to the blistering cold. Its cast may be individualistic, but their mingling relationships are already doomed, stamped to the far outstretches of fate. The winding landscapes of small-town Montana feel disconnected from America's progress into modernity, evident by scenes constructed out of alienating office cubicles, restaurants, and school parking lots. These people are so lonely, so uncertain in spite of their chosen particularity that the film's expansion of time - trains roaming as transport, horses strolling across a winter night - captures impeccable nuance in their unspoken desires and frustrations. They're surrounded by advances in culture and technology, but their tired eyes and haunted gestures seem of another era; a life lived only to collapse and rise again in order to ensnare another. It's the chilly, frostbitten, "lacking" images which continue to elude me; an absence of violence, an absence of romance, an absence of fulfillment. Only a Kelly Reichardt film makes me ponder the essence of a pile of Sandstone. A slippery, 'hand just out of reach' kind of a movie even when its tangibility couldn't be more precise.
★★★½ review by Kairit on Letterboxd
the women were certain
★★★½ review by Mike D'Angelo on Letterboxd
Have now spent several days trying to perceive a coherent whole in these three barely-connected stories, and am still failing. The middle one in particular befuddles me—it felt bizarrely inconsequential while I was watching it, and theses that I've since read online and/or heard from friends, while solid enough, only serve to further isolate it from the other two in my mind. Not wholly sold on the initial tale, either, which is thoroughly absorbing in the moment but kinda left me shrugging post-epilogue. Airlift the final chapter out of Certain Women and make it a stand-alone short, however, and it would likely be my favorite film of the year. Don't want to say much about it, since its power lies in its stark simplicity; I'll merely observe that newcomer Lily Gladstone manages to out-underact Kristen Stewart, which is a nearly Olympian achievement. Their final scene together is almost as painfully heartrending as the final Affleck-Williams duet in Manchester By The Sea, but in an entirely different register.
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