Montana Story, Worth a watch?

Directors David Siegel and Scott McGhee give us their sixth movie (they’ve been making movies together since the early ‘90s). One of their movies, What Maisie Knew (Julianne Moore, Alexander Skarsgaard ) was one of my favorite movies of 2012. In fact, I named it the 43rd best movie of the 21st Century in a list of the Top 100 films. I wasn’t as enamored by their 2006 movie Bee Season (Richard Gere). 

With this, we’re given a story that’s confusing at first. You understand that one guy is the nurse/caretaker (Gilbert Owuor), but we don’t understand who one of the women is to this young man (Owen Teague) that returns home. Is she his sister? Lover? Neighbor? Apparently she’s a family friend (Kimberly Guerrero), who helps run the ranch. She soon leaves, and we realize the sister (Haley Lu Richardson) is the one who also returns home to see her dying father. She also has a beef with her bro. It will take a long time before it’s revealed why.

Cal (Teague) is trying to get all the affairs in order for the ranch. That includes bankruptcy issues and an old horse he might have to put down. Erin (Richardson) was really quick to just show up, see her dad, and take off. Keeping the horse alive derails her plans a bit.

The Montana settings are beautifully shot (Giles Nuttgens is the cinematographer), and we’re told a lot of stuff that makes us realize this is a small town that’s struggling. One character is having trouble getting hours at work. There’s no cell reception. It has a Hell or High Water vibe in that regard, and a Power of the Dog when it comes to the scenery. Yet those two movies were amazing. This is a long slog that is so slowly paced, you’re just bored sitting there watching it all. And domestic squabbles and sibling resentments are areas that can always be written in an interesting fashion; yet it wasn’t here. Things end up not having the emotional punch they should.

The performances are all solid, though.

2 stars out of 5.

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