Kelly Reichardtmade her debut feature over twenty years ago with “River Of Grass.” The 1994 film picked up four Indie Spirit Award nominations but has been out of circulation for good while now. However, the folks at Oscilloscope Laboratories teamed with Sundance, UCLA Film & Television Archive, and TIFF to restore the picture and give it the attention it didn’t quite get the first time out. And a new trailer is here to celebrate their efforts and the re-release of the movie.
Starring Larry Fessenden and Lisa Bowman, the story focuses on Cozy and Lee Ray, who become an unlikely pair on the run, when their innocent misadventures take more slightly more dangerous turn. Here’s the synopsis from TIFF:
Set in the area of southern Florida where Reichardt grew up — the swampy and sweltering suburbs of Broward and Dade counties, between Miami and the Everglades — River of Grass focuses on Cozy (Lisa Bowman), a middle-aged housewife who dreams of something beyond her monotonous existence. Hoping to spice things up, she goes for a night out at a local dive bar and meets brooding bad boy Lee Ray (played by indie legend Larry Fessenden). A night of heavy drinking that leads to a dip in a neighbour’s swimming pool takes a turn for the worse when Cozy accidentally fires Lee Ray’s gun at the unsuspecting homeowner, forcing the duo to take it on the lam.
Deciding to embrace the outlaw life, this bumbling Bonnie and Clyde embark on a would-be crime spree that amounts to not much more than a few stolen records and a motel shootout with a cockroach, as their sluggish surroundings prove impossible to escape.
Filled with acerbic wit and deadpan humour, Reichardt’s bleak depiction of the backwaters of a consumerist America stands as one of the best independent films of the nineties.
“River Of Grass” will screen at Sundance next month and open in cinemas in March. Watch below.