What’s the story?

If you are looking ahead to watch an inspiring 2 hours of drama, then First Cow would be a great choice! It is about how two males met and share their dreams and aspirations. The movie is based on friendship. Bob Mondello, in his critical response, said that the film is a test of an unusual friendship.

As the film starts with a beautiful quote of William Blake’s “Proverbs of Hell”. According to which we can understand the fact that a bird needs a nest, the spider needs a web and the same way a man needs friendship.

The story is inspired by the novel ‘The Half-Life’ written by Raymond. It is about life in the early nineteenth century. John Magaro is a skilled cook and taciturn loner who came from the west and live with fur trappers based on Oregon Territory.

He got a bond with Orion Lee, a Chinese immigrant, and further, they collaborated to do business. They secretly use the milking cow of a rich landlord. After stealing the milk, they use to make ‘Oily cakes’ at night, which are donut-like sweets. During the transit to reach the wilds of Oregon, her calves and mate have died, so the cow is alone.


If we talk about some astonishing facts, then, first of all, the film was released after the death of Rene Auberjonois. Also, an alternate title, as suggested for the movie was “Slow Elk” because it was how the first people of Oregon knows cattle.

The movie has got a PG-13 rating and is also for the first time for Kelly Richardt in ever of her films. No doubt, the major credits of First Cow goes to Kelly since she is not only the director but also penned the story with Jon Raymond!

Is it any good?

Makers have presented suspenseful and exciting drama that revolves around two entrepreneurs. The film has a light comic touch with a genuine connection between King and Cookie.

You can see scenes rich in the beauty of forests, thick vegetation, and ramshackle hutches. It is a simple and quite film based along the riverbanks and forests of Oregon. For the complete story, you need to watch the full movie if you are interested in watching how a good idea can help you to make your way.

Till now the film has collected more than 100 thousand dollars. The world premiere was held on 30th August 2019 at the film festival of Telluride. Also, the movie was screened at the Film Festival of New York on 28th September 2019.

By the way, it was released on 6th March 2020 in the US. The film has also competed with others for the Golden Bear at the 70th International film festival of Berlin. It is starring Ewen Bremner, John Magaro, Rene Auberjonois, Orion Lee, Alia Shawkat, and Toby Jones.

The film has got an IMDB rating of 7.2 out of 10 according to 425 votes as of now. Also, it has gained 83% likes on Google, and 96% in Rotten Tomatoes out of 100. On Metacritic, it has scored 90 on 100 as the average weighted score as per 30 critics, hence universally acclaimed!

First Cow movie

Let us have a brief outlook on Kelly Reichardt’s statements from her recent interview. She says it is a film about nature vs capitalism. The filming was done nearby Columbia River! It is because the river was the main way of trading or highway in ancient times.

She said, Grand Ronde, a tribe’s confederation is there nearby Eugene in Oregon. They helped the makers to get the right language, the Chinook Wawa; it is jargon and a mix of different styles. But it was somehow tricky to adapt, so they edited it with slight changes.

The team researched much about the availability of ingredients available there for the people to cook. The actors were trained on building the traps, build a fire with no matches around, skinning a squirrel, and much more. They had also gone through some recipes from Lewis & Clark Cookbook to get an idea about what people like to eat as per the early 1800s.


The actual name of the cow is Evie, and she has been cast via the internet. Further, she has been trained by an animal trainer. By the way, the first choice of the director was to cast a Jersey cow, since they are generally big in size and eyes.

As per Reichardt, The main two characters of First Cow are only travelers who are trying to settle their life. There is not much in the story, and the director’s primary focus is to highlight the historical environment of the characters.

By looking at the past work of Kelly, we can say, she is among the highly prominent directors in the American film fraternity!

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