Kelly Reichardt (Night Moves, MIFF 2014) continues her love affair with the American landscape and those who linger within its midst in her sixth feature. Across a triptych of vignettes, the writer/director examines small-town traditions and troubles, following three women finding their way forward through trying circumstances.
In the sleepy foothills of Montana, a lawyer (Laura Dern) juggles personal turmoil, a tense hostage situation and a difficult worker's compensation case. Nearby, a couple (Michelle Williams and James Le Gros) build the foundation for a new home while shattering the basis of their marriage, and a rancher (Lily Gladstone) bonds with a law-school graduate (Kristen Stewart).
Observed with Reichardt's usual empathy and incisiveness, their tales capture everyday moments, choices and encounters that seem insignificant but slowly prove otherwise. Boasting cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt's distinctive documentary-meets-arthouse aesthetic, as well as subtle yet powerful performances from the all-star cast, Certain Women doesn't just offer a slice of Midwest life; it presents a simmering insight into the physical isolation and male domination of rural existence.
Check out the Certain Women page for more details and tickets.
Maureen works by day as a personal assistant for a celebrity, picking up – and, against instructions, trying on – extravagant dresses for her boss. She is also grieving her twin brother, who she recently lost. When she tries to make contact with him in his deserted mansion, something far more menacing and ungovernable is unleashed.
Featuring an idiosyncratic, virtuoso star turn by Kristen Stewart, Personal Shopper juxtaposes high fashion with a foreboding atmosphere – a sly exercise in genre subversion by Assayas that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
Check out the Personal Shopper page for more details and tickets.
The film festival runs from 28 July - 14 August 2016.
The full schedule should be out around 6 July.