The film by Kelly Reichardt stars Michelle Williams as a woman who travels with a group through Oregon guided by Stephen Meek. The group eventually gets lost and run into a Native American. Not trusting anyone and on the brink of death with no source of water in sight, the film explores the harsh reality of the Oregon Trail.
The film is absolutely beautiful. The washed out colors illuminate the vast bleakness of their travels. Wide shots show how alone they are in the wilderness – they are reduced to what they can carry. Their survival is based on how far they can walk because there is no going back.
Michelle Williams came for a Q&A session following the film. She discussed how she prepared for the role, how difficult it was to film due to the harsh weather in Oregon (supposedly the vans kept breaking down because of dust in the engine), and how she had to share Kelly Reichardt on this film (as opposed to when she had her to herself on Wendy and Lucy).
All in all, it was a stunning film about survival.