The Review/Short Read/

One To Watch: River Of Grass

A vivid portrait of southern Florida

May 16, 2016

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WHY TO WATCH: If you know Kelly Reichardt from her collaborations with Michelle Williams, such as Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff and the latest star-studded Certain Women (at hit with audiences at this year's Sundance), it's time to dig into her back catalogue. Reichardt’s first feature River of Grass is your point A to all the themes in her current work. Described by the filmmaker as a “road movie without the road, a love story without the love, and a crime story without the crime," it's a sun-drenched noir set in strip malls and swamps. The film begins with Cozy (played by actual waitress Lisa Cozman), a housewife, walking out on her children. It’s a story that shows you womanhood without the sentimentality and crime from a director whose parents worked in law enforcement. It’s also funny and manages to make suburban Florida look like a paradise. Enjoy a brand new digital restoration of this rarely-seen feature (which played TIFF 2015) on Thursday, May 19 and Friday, May 20 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Screenings will be preceeded by Paul Thomas Anderson's music video for Radiohead's "Daydreaming" on 35mm.

"Reichardt subverts expectations at every turn, while simultaneously painting a vivid portrait of southern Florida (the title refers to the Everglades, and the film goes back and forth between Broward and Dade County) in all its sun-drenched seediness."

"It's not exactly action-filled, but its main character is explicit about what's on her mind and how deep-seated her desire to escape is."

"It's almost too ethereal, it slips through your fingers when you try to grab it."