- Cast: Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Bruce Greenwood, Shirley Henderson, Neal Huff, Zoe Kazan, Tommy Nelson, Will Patton, Rod Rondeaux
- Director: Kelly Reichardt
- Writer: Jonathan Raymond
- Producers: Elizabeth Cuthrell, Neil Kopp, Anish Savjani, David Urrutia
- Co Producer: Vincent Savino
- Executive Producers: Todd Haynes, Phil Morrison, Andrew Pope, Laura Rosenthal, Mike S. Ryan, Rajen Savjani, Steven Tuttleman
- Casting: Laura Rosenthal
- Costume Design: Victoria Farrell
- D.O.P.: Chris Blauvelt
- Makeup: Leo Won
- Music: Jeff Grace
- Production Design: David Doernberg
- Aspect Ratio: Other
- Filming Locations: Oregon, USA
- MPAA Warning: Some mild violent content, brief language and smoking
- Production Companies: Evenstar Films, Film Science, Harmony Productions, Primitive Nerd
- Production Schedule: September 2009 - 2 November 2009
2011 Guide Analysis: "Playing practically every major film festival in the second half of last year, this western marks the re-teaming of Michelle Williams and her "Wendy and Lucy" director Kelly Reichardt with the result yielding a similar response in reviews - a brilliant turn by the actress in a commendable but limited appeal film where long silences and quiet observatory moments are far more important than the sparse uses of dialogue.
Shot in the classic old school 1.35:1 Academy ratio of filmmaking, this a true western in many ways - not romanticised, deconstructed, exaggerated or satirised. Rather, it's slow and spartan with an emphasis on the unforgiving and arbitrary harshness of this way of life. The opening sequence is a river crossing that takes 10-15 minutes, very little in the way of story or action actually happens while the ending is ambiguous.
There are points to be made about maintaining order and society when thrown into the challenge of a new world, but restraint and thoughtful authenticity is the order of the day here - something that true fans of the genre will probably adore which explains why some reviewers went absolutely gaga over this. Yet that quiet reserve is what makes the genre as a whole insufferable to a lot of people, and will certainly limit the film's appeal domestically.
It'll almost certainly not go theatrical overseas either as foreign audiences simply don't share the love the genre has in the hearts of many Americans. Whatever its fate though, Reichardt's reputation will only improve. She's already demonstrated that she's a skilled observer of the dramatic weight that comes with some of the smallest acts and most inane moments in life. Her films are mood pieces of emotion rather than narrative, both feminine and very arthouse which makes them an acquired taste. Those who can swallow what's she shovelling though will likely savour the experience."