A.V. Club

Movie Review: Kristen Stewart shines in the sensitive short story collection Certain Women

Because of their manageable length and tendency to privilege evocative description over intricate plotting, short stories are arguably easier to transport to the screen than novels are. Rather than trying to condense a couple hundred pages into a couple hours, filmmakers can build out from a compact, rock-solid foundation. How many of these adaptations, though, actually capture the spirit of the format—the open-ended mystery and vividness of great short fiction, the sense that you’re being plopped down for a few meaningful minutes into a hyper-specific space? Certain Women comes closer than most. Written and directed by Kelly Reichardt (Meek’s Cutoff, Night Moves), the film assembles several movie stars for a triptych of minor-key Montana character sketches, each based on a story by award-winning author Malie Meloy. Imagine a version of Robert Altman’s Short Cuts that didn’t weave its individual tales into some ensemble tapestry, instead …

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