Michelle Williams, Best Actress-nominated for her performance in Blue Valentine, is easily one of the finest working actors today. Re-teaming with her Wendy and Lucy director Kelly Reichardt, she leads Meek’s Cutoff, a bleak and beautiful western journey. I reviewed the film at TIFF, where it was one of my favorites at the fest and now it is getting a limited theatrical run.

The western drama also stars (a nearly unrecognizable) Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton, Zoe Kazan, Paul Dano, Shirley Henderson, Neal Huff, Tommy Nelson, and Rod Rondeauxn. The first trailer, which can be viewed below via Apple, gives off a There Will Be Blood vibe, even the film is more methodically paced.

Synopsis: 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.

Meek’s Cutoff will be released April 8th, 2011.

What do you think of the trailer?

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