The increased presence of women directors and writers during Sundance …
In the opening scene to Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff, the characters stop to gather water at a river. The year is 1845, and this group of travelers are made up of three families that are traversing the treacherous Oregon Trail. After obtaining the water, they leave. Reichardt’s camera stays. She lingers on the river just long enough to fill a viewer with a sense of foreboding. This is likely the last place of refuge for miles. Everything, from here on, will be trouble.
There is that old adage that states if one does not stand for something they very well could fall for anything. Well, this apt sentiment certainly applies in co-writer/director Kelly Reichardt’s simmering eco-terrorism thriller Night Moves. Methodical, moody and breezily reflective, Reichardt’s suspense piece has a slow-footed pacing but registers with quiet resonance in its message about lingering environmental indifference and the retaliation against the establishment that allows for such blatant negligence.
What separates life on the fringe of society from being outside of society entirely? It’s that line of demarcation that fascinates Kelly Reichardt, whose particularly American take on “slow cinema” collides with our own expectation of the requirements of the thriller genre in Night Moves, which cleverly cloaks its true thematic concerns in familiar story tropes.