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Dear Kay,

I try to avoid hyperbole, but really, I’m having to fight hard not to go big on my love for a new movie, First Cow.

I watched it this week and can’t stop thinking about it.

It’s set in the Oregon Territory, circa the 1820s, a rough place where it’s hard to imagine anything resembling a gentle friendship could take root.

Try not to watch the trailer above, and simply watch the movie.

I don’t want to give away a thing about it except to say that these performances, the setting, the love beating within this movie—they’re all a balm to the heart on a week that has felt like I’ve been hit in the head with a rock about five times.

DG Strong pointed me toward this film. I can’t thank him enough. And now, as a new fan of the director, Kelly Reichardt, I have a list of more movies to watch.

First Cow is streaming on Amazon Prime Video and YouTube.



PS After you’ve watched First Cow, read A. O. Scott’s superb review in The New York Times. He captures so much of what is extraordinary about this film.

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  • And the music – oh my goodness.

  • Of course I had to watch the trailer and now “FirstCow” is a must see. Thank you!

  • I had this on my mental ‘to do’ list – your recommendation (and reminder of which service to find it on) just moved it up a few spots!

  • I am assuming that I don’t want ANY spoilers, but if I tried to watch this with my family crew today, is it kid safe for my 10 & 12 year old sensitive souls?

    • revised: it IS already on common sense media, they gave me all the info i needed

  • Thank you… MDK always points me in a good direction.

  • Thank you for reminding me of First Cow. I watched it last night and felt it was so authentic, so reflective of what it must have been like. “Rough” hardly does it! But the clothing alone is reason to watch, including the wonderful bark capes and hats of the native Americans.

  • You failed to mention its a pay per view … $5.99.

    • Yes, and worth every penny!

  • First Cow — thank you so much for the clue! You are right. It keeps popping up in my head as I recognize another layer,

    Speaking of beautiful, it’s Monday. I just opened the gorgeous Field Guide No. 15. It is absolutely beautiful. Quite the antidote to all the … well, you know. I appreciate the efforts of all your team. Jeanette Sloan’s designs — if it was baseball, she knocked it out of the socially-distanced, masked-up park.

    Thank you

  • Ann! First Cow was wonderful. I loved the friendship that developed beween the large-eyed cow and the soulful-eyed Cookie as much as that of Cookie and King-Lu. The cook in me became curious about the Oily Cakes and the Clafoutis. Oily Cakes are pretty much doughnuts cooked in lard. Here’s the recipe used by the movie crew: That was a fun deep dive into cooking. I was equally intriqued by the way the governor said “clafoutis” and learned I’ve been saying it incorrectly for the last 40 years. The emphasis IS on the first syllable, the way the governor says it: I’ve put the emphasis on the second syllable all this time. For the recipe, I needed to look no further than: Revisiting that recipe inspired me to make a blueberry clafoutis last night and to rewatch the movie. COVID cooking. xoJudy

  • Hoopla also offers “First Cow.” (Aside to punctuation watchers: Somehow I can’t get the title in italics. Apologies to all.) Hoopla is a free streaming service from public libraries.Hoopla has movies across many genres, audiobooks, TV shows, and music. All you need is a library card. Check your local library’s web site. Another library offering is Kanopy which streams mostly serious movies.

  • Need to know before someone in the family watches it. Does the cow die? (Think Old Yeller.). Or LOTS of death of animals? Regardless, it sounds like a “Don’t Miss!” I hadn’t heard about it and appreciate the heads up!

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