Meek’s Cutoff (2010)

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Set in 1845, this drama follows a group of settlers as they embark on a punishing journey along the Oregon Trail. When their guide leads them astray, the expedition is forced to contend with the unforgiving conditions of the high plain desert. (Letterboxd)
Appropriately slow–this survival western pulls no punches, and by punches I mean achingly long scenes of walking across barren landscapes, because there’s a lot of them. And they’re loaded with feeling: short in-between scenes lay out the stakes and ratchet up the unease and distrust, and then the journey (captured with poignant music and visuals–see that breathtaking long cross fade early on) continues, and in the film’s boldest stroke of all, it doesn’t end, just like it never began.
8/10 (Great)

Minari (2020)

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A Korean family starts a farm in 1980s Arkansas. (IMDb)
Never digs that deep into its themes or characters but from the first touches of its gorgeous score and cinematography, it’s clear that its soil is rich with life. Comedy and drama (see David and Grandma’s volatile relationship), spirit and mind and body (see the various farming tasks), giving and taking (see the offering plate), hope and despair (see the city visit), destruction and reconciliation (see the fire)–it all intermingles in the poignantly simple story about a family building a home.
8.5/10 (Amazing)