Who would have thought when we saw her in Dawson’s Creek Michelle Williams would become a muse of American independent cinema. At thirty years the actress has worked with Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, for which he was nominated for an Oscar), Todd Haynes (I’m Not There), Wim Wenders (Land of Plenty), Lukas Moodyson (Mammoth) or Charlie Kauffman (Synecdoche, New York).
Now Williams is placed under the command of Kelly Reichardt (who directed her in the acclaimed Wendy & Lucy) in Meek’s Cutoff, one of the sensations of the last Venice Film Festival. Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine), Bruce Greenwood (Double Jeopardy), Shirley Henderson (Bridget Jones’s Diary) and Will Patton (Armageddon) complete the cast of one of the sensations of the American Independent, 2010.
The action takes place in 1845 when the Oregon Trail began to be visited by thousands of Americans who wanted to establish in the Far West. A convoy consisting of three families decide to hire the mountaineer Stephen Meek to guide them through the rugged landscape. Relying on his experience, Meek decided to leave the road and go for a shortcut that says he knows well, but end up lost in a desert. Hunger, thirst and distrust of fellow travelers make the three families from growing any more nervous, especially when an Indian appears and wandering about the caravan.
The character played by Williams, Emily Tetherow, refers to Stephen Meek, a man in real life he led 200 wagons on the Oregon desert in 1845 looking for a shortcut through the Cascade Mountains, and ended up in an area without water. The film, which could be translated as The Meek shortcut is an atypical mecl between western and drama that is very difficult to be exported outside the U.S. borders with a local product as minimalist as this.
Check out the trailer for Michelle Williams’s new 19th century drama Meek’s Cutoff!