A Private War
Crazy Rich Asians
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All Critics (15)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (14)
| Rotten (1)
| DVD (1)
It's not exactly action-filled, but its main character is explicit about what's on her mind and how deep-seated her desire to escape is.
It's almost too ethereal, it slips through your fingers when you try to grab it. Although that could be the point.
River of Grass is very funny, but in a more somber key it also test-drives what will become Reichardt's specialty: the transformation of cheerless wastelands into backdrops for journeys of the parched soul.
Reichardt subverts expectations at every turn, while simultaneously painting a vivid portrait of southern Florida (the title refers to the Everglades, and the film goes back and forth between Broward and Dade County) in all its sun-drenched seediness.
A film of fizzy languor ... terrific ...
The odd rhythm of things keeps you off-balance, a little like the percussive score that infuses the story with a dizzy propulsive force that is weirdly gleeful in its own bleak fashion.
The downbeat noir story is filled with deadpan humor, a type of humor that Bowman and Fessender excel in.
This unassumingly brilliant filmmaker illuminates the sense and flavor of this disconsolate epoch in all its unheroic vexation.
Awash in almost-no-budget '90s indie smudge, it's a 'Bonnie and Clyde' about people who only wish they were Bonnie and Clyde.
[It] isn't able to reach the peaks of Reichardt's later monumental work, but it's educational in mapping out her concerns as a filmmaker, and a stirring reminder of her abilities as a visual stylist.
If Meek's Cutoff could be seen as an anti-Western, using the genre's tropes in defiantly subversive ways, River of Grass pulls similar tricks with crime drama and noir clichés.
Kelly Reichardt's film is a wry, appealingly raggedy look at the impossibility of conjuring up excitement from boredom.
Bored, Cozy(Lisa Bowman), a housewife, dresses up to go to a nearby bar where she encounters Lee(Larry Fessenden). Lee, despite rarely leaving his grandmother's house by the age of 29, has somehow and coincidentally come into the possession of the gun formerly belonging to Jimmy Ryder(Dick Russell), Cozy's father and a police detective, for which he has been suspended for one week. All of which has nothing to do with Lee inviting Cozy to go swimming in a friend's pool.
Even working on a miniscule budget as she is with her first film, "River of Grass," one can see definite filmmaking promise in Kelly Reichardt that she would deliver on in her later films. As it is, there is a very cool soundtrack as she manages to capture south Florida in a unique way while beginning her specialty in following characters who achieve varying levels of success in trying to get where they are going. That might also explain the lackadaisical, yet deadpan, pacing for which I will overlook the short eternity the plot, what there is of it, takes to kick in.
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