RIVER OF GRASS (1994)

Written & Directed By: Kelly Reichardt
Story By: Jesse Hartman 
Cinematography: Jim Denault 
Editor: Larry Fessenden 

Cast: Lisa Bowman, Larry Fessenden, Dick Russell, Stan Kaplan, Michael Buscemi 

Cozy, a dissatisfied housewife, meets Lee at a bar. A drink turns into a home break-in, and a gunshot sends them on the run together, thinking they’ve committed murder.


This film is about a wanna Bonnie & Clyde. A makeshift couple on the run that is never romantic or lustful. 

The film starts off well and feels inventive and tells the story fast and vividly. Introducing us to the characters and their motivations. as even the small details help set up the main Characters and offer spontaneity in their day-to-day supposedly mundane lives. 

As it feels random at first. But the film catches up with that. As the story goes along we see how everything becomes connected and in this small town in Florida. They are literally passing by each other and not realizing they are the ones they are seeking.

A bored housewife seeks adventure in a loser would be a drifter and go on a crime spree of no regard though they think it is. As they go On the run. Not realizing no one is really looking. For them except for her. As her family wants to know why she has run away. Not to mention their crimes aren’t prosperous nor exciting. If anything they are more embarrassing but not in a broadly comedic way. They come off more as pathetic. As we watch the others their lives intersect with good ones.

Writer/Director Kelly Reichart films are very detail-oriented and more at the moment while we watch life and the characters move at a more day to day moment to moment pace. Her films are almost still Life may. They aren’t made with a broad canvas but are affecting if you are willing to watch and can take the slower pace and usually no frills.

This isn’t the first film Of her’s I have seen. Though this is one of her earlier ones and from the ones I have seen this is one of her quicker-paced and more conventional films.

This film shows an interest in a crime story. Where there is practically no crime. This was made before she went full-fledged into cinematic studies of life and characters At the moment.

NIGHT MOVES comes the closest of her later films where there seems to be some sort of action and offers more conventional entertainment.

In the end, this comes off as pathetic but a little soulful In its Eclecticness. So that it feels alive and free whenever offbeat 

GRADE: B-

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