Meek's Cutoff

Director: Kelly Reichardt
Year Released: 2010
Rating: 2.0

Several bumbling dolts (including Michelle Williams and Paul Dano) follow a bearded blowhard (Bruce Greenwood) around Oregon, who talks a good game but has no clue where he's taking everyone - lost, they grow frustrated, but continue following the man anyway. Of course, with a concept this mundane, drama this muted and cinematography this gorgeous, we're clearly in Ye Ol' Allegory Country, with Reichardt expecting a hearty pat on the back for (a.) questioning the wisdom of patriarchy and (b.) making a rather blatant reference to the War in Iraq, with Meek doubling as either Bush or Obama, depending on your ideology. What may have helped her cause would have been if her characters were a bit more complex: indifference sets in when it becomes glaringly obvious everyone (except the Native American: signifier alert) is clueless and their journey is futile. "Is he ignorant, or just plan evil?" someone asks about Meek. Sometimes, ignorance is evil.