I appreciate the thoughtful reviews of those who found value to this movie, but for this viewer it was a trying experience. It's very dark in terms of lighting, as some pivotal scenes are virtually impossible to see. There's a huge disconnect with the way the story opens and what it's eventually all about, so don't go looking for continuity there. The principal characters, once things settle down, are an immigrant fur trapper (John Magaro) and a Chinese wayfarer (Orion Lee) who hook up by accident, and with no other resources available to them, decide to team up to make a go of it in the 1820's Oregon wilderness. The title of the picture directly relates to the introduction of a cow into the territory by a wealthy trader, and it's jarring each time it's mentioned that the animal lost her 'husband' on the trip over from England. Who talks like that? Essentially, Otis 'Cookie' Figowitz (Magaro) and King Lu (Lee) team up in an enterprise of surreptitiously stealing milk from Chief Factor's (Toby Jones) prize cow and using it as an ingredient in making baked goods that they trade for money at the local fort. This worthwhile venture into capitalism is disrupted when one night, Factor's servant discovers their endeavor, and the chase begins to hunt down the malefactors. Separated while on the run, the pair eventually team up again down river, and the story ends abruptly when the injured Cookie requires some rest and both men fall asleep in the woods. At that point the end credits roll, and the sequel to the movie is left to the viewer's imagination. If you've never heard of a clafoutis, you'll learn at least one thing watching the movie. And if you don't, no use crying over spilt milk.
A skilled cook has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon, though he only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant also seeking his fortune. Soon the two collaborate on a successful business.
November 17, 2020