KCUR Arts Reporter Steve Walker shares his top movie picks of the week.
Set in arid, barren stretches of Oregon in 1845, Kelly Reichardt's wonderful film is a kind of feminist western with a zen-like focus. Michelle Williams is terrific as Emily Tetherow, a spirited wife whose friends and family are seeking out a better life in the Pacific Northwest on the dubious advice of the title character (Bruce Greenwood). Much to her chagrin, Meek doesn't seem to know what he's doing and when he ill-advisedly kidnaps and mistreats a Native American he suspects was after their scalps, Tetherow and the rest of the party turn on him. Also wonderful is Shirley Henderson as fellow traveler Glory White, whose pregnancy belies her fortitude. Reichardt's direction is superlative. With each shot, she knows exactly where to place the camera, ensuring that the audience can feel the dust in their eyes and the parch in their throats.