An unlikely partnership, is rarely found or experienced as in writer/director Kelly Reichardt’s quirky, strangely hypnotic, story of two disparate “outliers” joining forces in the Oregon Territory, 1820’s; “Cookie” Figowitz (John Magaro) a displaced baker, joins an outlaw “King Lu” (Orion Lee) in a money-making scheme, revolving around the milking theft of “Chief Factor’s” (Toby Jones) cow, the first and only cow in the neighborhood; each night, clandestinely sneaking, milking the Chief’s cow, is an enterprise that leads to fortune; Cookie’s Oily Cakes, a resounding success with dire consequences.
“First Cow’s” subtlety rivets the viewer in an uncompromising labyrinth; guessing the outcome is an intentional impossibility, scripted beautifully by Kelly Reichardt (“Certain Women”); lacking sensationalism, flamboyancy, it is a finely-drawn portrait of greed, lawlessness and loyalty.
A small film resonating with monumentality.
THREE & ½ STARS!!!