FNE at Cannes 2022: Competition: Showing Up

    Director Kelly Reichardt Director Kelly Reichardt Image Credit: Joachim Tournebize / FDC, source Cannes Film Festival

    CANNES: Director Kelly Reichardt’s Showing Up is a well deserved Cannes competition entry with an unusual take on the balance between art and family life for an American female artist. Reichardt is known for her minimalist style of filmmaking and Showing Up follows the same themes.

    The film stars Michelle Williams and it’s the fourth collaboration between Reichardt and Williams. The 2008 Wendy and Lucy starring Williams as a lonely American woman searching for her dog is a heart breaking study in hopelessness that earned Williams Oscar buzz. The film was nominated for Best Film and Best Female lead at the Independent Spirit Awards.

    Williams also starred in Reichardt’s unusual take on the Western the 2010 Meek’s Cutoff that screened in competition at Venice Film Festival. The 2016 Certain Women starred Michelle Williams alongside Laura Dern and Kristen Stewart and was one of Reichardt’s most successful films to date being acquired by Sony Pictures and winning the top award at the London Film Festival. So this latest collaboration is hotly anticipated by critics and fans.

    The film is set against the backdrop of the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland which sadly closed in 2019.  Lizzy, a sculptor played by Michelle Williams, is preparing for a new show from her studio in her garage trying to balance her daily life of family and friends in a portrait of an artist as a human being that is full of humour and emotion. 

    Reichardt also co-wrote the script, together with Jon Raymond, and edited the film and one can’t help but suppose that there is a major element of autobiography in the film as a woman filmmaker who has to balance her creative and family life. The director’s minimalist style and attention to detail has the support of cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt. 

    Reichardt is obviously someone who likes to work with an ongoing team of close collaborators and Jon Raymond also co-wrote the scripts for Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff, Night Moves and First Cow.

    The film is distributed by A24 and with a dedicated following for both Reichardt and Williams it promises to bring in the arthouse cinema audience.

    Showing Up (USA)
    Directed by Kelly Reichardt
    Cast: Michelle Williams, Hong Chau, Maryann Plunkett, John Magaro, André Benjamin, James Le Gros, Judd Hirsch