Review in Brief: First Cow (2019/20)

FIRST COW is one of those films that drops you into another time and every small detail adds to its palpable authenticity. Nobody films slow and beautiful stories like Kelly Reichardt. Cookie (John Magaro) is a man trying to get by in a harsh time, meeting a fellow survivor, a fellow man without place (Orion Lee) along the way. It is strange how many historical films erase non-white characters but First Cow presents a Northern Territory fort as it would have been – a melting pot of people from everywhere. This may be the tensest film about frying batter ever made – Cookie and King-Lu are making a killing selling their cakes, but inevitably the local landowner (Toby Jones) develops a liking for them and invites the pair to cater for a function, blissfully unaware they are made using milk from his cow, the only one in the Territory. This is glorious filmmaking from a director at the height of her powers. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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