FIRST COW Heads Home Now, May Return to Cinemas Later

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas (@peteramartin)
FIRST COW Heads Home Now, May Return to Cinemas Later

Debuting at the Telluride Film Festival in September 2019, followed by a screening at the prestigious New York Film Festival, Kelly Reichardt's First Cow received glowing reviews.

Distributor A24 Films made plans to release the period Western in the U.S. in March 2020, and it's no surprise that it received more glowing reviews upon its release, including a fine review by our own Shelagh M. Rowan-Legg, concluding: "First Cow plays like a beautiful fable, a tale told around a campfire on a lonely night, a quiet and moving story about how two friends found and helped each other out of loneliness and desperation."

Plans for an expanded release were then halted in the face of theater closures due to the pandemic. Now A24 Films will release First Cow on all digital platforms on July 10, which is very good news indeed for those of us who never had an opportunity to see it in theaters. The distributor also "is aiming to bring it back to arthouse theaters for a special run later this year," according to an official statement.

We have covered most of Reichardt's films over the years, and a recent re-viewing of her classic Old Joy on Blu-ray from Criterion reminded me of how much I have enjoyed her work -- and why.

The official synopsis for First Cow:

"Kelly Reichardt once again trains her perceptive and patient eye on the Pacific Northwest, this time evoking an authentically hardscrabble early nineteenth century way of life. 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."

That release date again: July 10, 2020. Enjoy the trailer below.

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A24 FilmsKelly ReichardtJonathan RaymondJohn MagaroOrion LeeRene AuberjonoisToby JonesDrama

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