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FIRST COW
February 8, 2021  | By David Bianculli

The Movie Channel, 8:00 p.m. ET

 
This 2019 low-budget movie is getting lots of buzz and momentum heading into this year’s Oscar race. I’d say it’s a dark horse candidate, but, given the context, that would be udderly ridiculous. First Cow just won the New York Film Critics Association Award for best picture of 2020, and is directed and co-written by Kelly Reichart, who explored a similar time and place in her 2010 movie Meek’s Cutoff, starring Michelle Williams. Set in the pre-statehood Oregon Territory around 1820, First Cow tells of two outsiders – Cookie (John Magaro), a resourceful cook for a small group of fur trappers, and King-Lu (Orion Lee), a sailor on the run – and their unlikely alliance. The Royal West Pacific Trading Post has just acquired the area’s first dairy cow – hence the film’s title – and Cookie and King-Lu set out to steal some milk, make some cakes, and sell the naked good to a local populace starved for such delicacies. Marie Antoinette would approve.
 
 
 
 
 
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