Oscilloscope has released the first trailer for Meek’s Cutoff, an indie western set in 1845, the earliest days of the Oregon Trail. Three families hire Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood) to lead them on a troubled journey over the Cascade Mountains. Michelle Williams, Will Patton, Zoe Kazan, Paul Dano, Shirley Henderson, Neal Huff, Tommy Nelson, and Rod Rondeauxn star alongside Greenwood, a character actor I’m excited to see in a lead role.
The trailer effectively invokes a quiet, moody atmosphere. I expect no less from director Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy). Watch the trailer after the break.
You’ll notice from the trailer that Meek’s Cutoff employs the atypical 4:3 aspect ratio. I’m trying to figure out the last non-documentary feature film that went 4:3. My memory went to 1987’s Full Metal Jacket, but a brief search pulled up Elephant from 2003. If you can think of anything post-1987, please leave it in the comments.
Click to Apple for HD. Meek’s Cutoff opens on April 8.
The year is 1845, the earliest days of the Oregon Trail, and a wagon team of three families has hired the mountain man Stephen Meek to guide them over the Cascade Mountains. Claiming to know a short cut, Meek leads the group on an unmarked path across the high plain desert, only to become lost in the dry rock and sage. Over the coming days, the emigrants must face the scourges of hunger, thirst and their own lack of faith in each other’s instincts for survival. When a Native American wanderer crosses their path, the emigrants are torn between their trust in a guide who has proven himself unreliable and a man who has always been seen as the natural enemy.