SELECTED: BERLINALE 2020
An old West tale of love and money set in 19th century Oregon, First Cow follows two unusual partners, gifted baker Cookie (John Magaro, The Big Short) and business minded King-Lu (Orion Lee, A Brilliant Young Mind), who open a bakery aiming to make their fortune.
When the Chief Factor of England (an excellent Toby Jones, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) announces the purchase of the first cow, signifying wealth and prosperity, the unlikely duo sees the perfect opportunity to further their dreams. Every night, they sneak over to the pasture and start milking the cow. The milk is used to make ‘oily cakes’ – nuggets of fried dough garnished with honey and cinnamon. Their cakes start to draw lines of eager patrons - including the completely oblivious Chief Factor of England who also wonders why his cow is not producing milk.
As their cakes gain fame, the duo is forced to choose between morals, humanity and compassion against riches, wealth, and security.
Filled with glorious detail, including a mischievous cat, award-winning director Kelly Reichardt (Certain Women, Wendy and Lucy) spins a gentle and funny tale of history and politics and how the simplest undertakings are complicated with power and competition.
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