First Cow

Director: Kelly Reichardt
Year Released: 2019
Rating: 1.5

Cookie (John Magaro), a cook traveling with trappers in the Oregon Territory, meets up with an Asian immigrant named King-Lu (Orion Lee) and the two of them, for the first half of the movie, mostly lollygagging around chit-chatting about getting rich ... and then for the second half Reichardt forces herself (it must have been painful) to actually tell a story, as the men steal milk from the only cow in town to sell "oily cakes" to the hungry masses.  Fans of Old Joy should run, not walk, to their nearest streaming device to take in the nature photography masquerading as a feature film (she sure does love foliage) that I think is trying to make some sort of point about colonialism - the "villain" Chief Factor (Toby Jones) is British - or about America as a Melting Pot built on thievery ... but there's not a lot to support that (and I apologize if I make it sound better thought-out than it really is).  If you ask me, this might have worked better as a short story, but Symbolism Scavengers should have a field day picking this apart and convincing themselves it has merit.