First Cow, directed by Kelly Reichardt, known for her unmistakable ability to capture simple pleasures and universal pain, has another wonder with First Cow (now streaming on Itunes). This time she has re-teamed with Jonathan Raymond (Mildred Pierce, Wendy and Lucy) to bring the latter’s novel “The Half-Life” to cinematic life.
A perfect circular plot, the story is of two men (one American, one Chinese) who find each other lost and on the run in the gold mining craze of centuries yore.
Reichardt makes sure to take her time and in our frenzied world, you really need to release the monkey mind and take the lazy river ride. She’s worth it as well as the two actors chosen to play friends: John Magaro (who was in the cast of thousands in Big Short) plays the American ‘Cookie’ and Orion Lee (who needs more opps than the tv schlock his IMDB details) as King-Lu.
While you’ll know the end of the tale at the movie’s start, you care enough about the pair to travel with them as they succeed in selling their oily cakes (think the first Krispy Kremes).
Again, certainly the Icarus who flies too close to the sun tale is as old as time, yet powerful acting and careful directing and storytelling make it ever so delicious…much like the sweet treats noted in the film.