A pair of siblings stop running from a painful past in Montana Story, the latest from the directing team of Scott McGehee and David Siegel.
It’s always best to confront your trauma when you’re ready, but time has run out for siblings Cal and Erin. Their father, the source of their troubled past, has suffered a stroke and is on life support. This forces the pair to reconvene at their childhood home after years of estrangement, the old wounds having driven even these two apart. Now all they share is their father (for whatever time he has left), a decrepit ranch, and an ailing horse. They must decide what to do with all of it, and at the same time, what to do with each other.
This is a character study of a western, a riff on the modern form of the genre formed by Kelly Reichardt. The material is vaguely similar to McGehee and Siegel’s previous film, What Maisie Knew, a divorce drama centered on a young child. The parents do a number on the kid in that film, and here we observe kids who were messed up by their parents grown into adults, the wounds just a little calloused over.
The film drew praise during its festival run, partially for its form and content but especially for the strength of its two leads. It’s hardly surprising to see praise heaped on Haley Lu Richardson as Erin, a performer that you’ve either spotted and marked for greatness or haven’t seen, but the find here seems to be Owen Teague as Cal, who stands tall against his acclaimed co-star.
Montana Story is directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel and stars Owen Teague, Haley Lu Richardson, and Gilbert Owuor. It will be released in the US on May 13th, 2022. Further release dates are not currently known.
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