Award-winning director Kelly Reichardt ( Meek’s Cutoff, Wendy and Lucy) returns with the eagerly awaited
First Cow, a gripping and glorious story of friendship and petty crime in
the Old West.
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 but precarious
cake-making business, the longevity of which is reliant upon the
clandestine participation of a wealthy landowner’s prized milking cow – the
very first, and only, in the territory.
With this simple premise, Reichardt paints an authentic portrait of harsh
frontier life in the early nineteenth century, depicting the immense,
unsettling quietude of rural America and interrogating the very foundations
on which the country was built. Following its premiere at the Telluride
Film Festival, FIRST COW screened at the Locarno Film Festival, the New
York Film Festival, and competed for the Golden Bear award at the Berlin
Film Festival. It won Best Film at the 2020 New York Film Critics Circle
Awards, and last month was nominated for three Film Independent Spirit
Awards including Best Feature and Best Director.