Kelly Reichardt

Born: 1964, Dade County


Kelly Reichardt is one of America’s leading, and most distinctive, independent directors. Her work is consistent in quality yet ever-evolving, the nuance and subtlety she achieves as director and writer is amplified by, and dependent on, her precision editing.

Reichardt has forged deep collaborative relationships with, among others, actor Michelle Williams, writer Jon Raymond and cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt, with whom she’s developed a compelling visual style.

Permeated by a fragile sense of ecological and emotional peril, the deceptively simple narratives of Reichardt’s subtly political films can turn on a resonant gesture, an unspoken word or a singular look. The characters are America’s wild-eyed ramblers and flinty outsiders; everyday folk hobbled by loneliness, isolation and monotony. 

She maps landscapes – suburban Florida, the velvety forests and rocky plains of Oregon, small-town Montana – as living, breathing entities. Her wide-shots, and elongated pans create a vastness and a sense of distance between aspirations and reality, especially when framing her female characters.

Highlighted works

  • Certain Women

    Kelly Reichardt delivers an impeccably quiet study of the lives of Montana women, starring Michelle Williams, Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart and Lily Gladstone.

  • Old Joy

    Musician Will Oldham co-stars in this film about old friends who have drifted apart.

  • Night Moves

    Jesse Eisenberg stars in this political thriller about a radical environmentalist.

  • Wendy and Lucy

    Michelle Williams is stunning as a young drifter who loses her beloved dog while on the road.

  • River of Grass

    A lost gun and a bored housewife feature in Kelly Reichardt’s bold 1994 debut.

  • Meek's Cutoff

    Kelly Reichardt’s elegiac re-visioning of the western is a rare beauty to behold, especially on the big screen.


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