It’s often said that the Western genre is a barometer for the American psyche, with the best Western films reflecting the values and anxieties of the era in which they were made. If that’s true, “Montana Story” is a perfect example. The latest film from “The Deep End” directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel uses the Mythic West as a backdrop to examine repressed family drama and crippling medical expenses, topics that are certainly top of mind these days for many Americans. The indie filmmaking duo have not released a new film since 2012’s “What Maisie Knew,” but a new trailer for “Montana Story” suggests a welcome return to form for them. Watch it exclusively on IndieWire below.
The official synopsis for “Montana Story” describes the film as “a neo-Western with an emotional tremor hiding beneath it. Two estranged siblings (Haley Lu Richardson and Owen Teague) return home to the sprawling ranch they once knew and loved, confronting a deep and bitter family legacy against a mythic American backdrop.”
The trailer shows Richardson and Teague attempting to sell their family’s ranch in an attempt to cover their dying father’s medical bills, attempting to make ends meet while processing childhood trauma from their complicated relationships with both him and each other. Richardson’s character refuses to part with her beloved horse, and resolves to take it with her from Montana to New York. As the trailer proceeds, increasingly dark secrets about their family’s history slowly begin to reveal themselves. It suggests a story about taking control of your own life story by both letting go of the past and accepting the fact that it cannot be changed.
“Montana Story” premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, where it received strong reviews for Richardson and Teague’s performances before ultimately securing distribution from Bleecker Street. In addition to Richardson and Teague, the cast includes Gibert Owuor, Kimberly Guerrero, Asivak Koostachin, Eugene Brave Rock, Rob Story, John Ludin and Kate Britton. Giles Nuttgens served as director of photography and shot the movie on 35mm film.
“Montana Story” will be released in theaters May 13. Read IndieWire’s review of the film here.