5 Things This Great New Movie Gets Right About Living in Montana
A little while back, we told you about the premiere of a new movie called Montana Story, an independent drama about two adult siblings who return home to Montana to take care of their dying father. The film was shot in Paradise Valley just south of Livingston, and was getting rave reviews from its first screenings.
Well, the Montana Film Festival kicked off this week, so what better way to open the festival than with the US premiere of Montana Story? I went to see the movie last night - which also included a Q&A with the film's directors afterward - and found it to be not only a compelling, intimate drama, but also a pretty incredible representation of Montana as a state.
Here are five things Montana Story gets right about living in Montana.
(Minor spoilers follow)
1. Once You're Out in the Mountains, Good Luck Getting Cell Service
A recurring bit throughout the movie involves Haley Lu Richardson's character trying and failing to call people while out on her father's ranch. Once you've been outside any of Montana's major cities, that's something everyone here can relate to.
2. The Myth of "Big Sky Country"
At one point, the siblings have a talk about the idea of Montana as this beautiful place, and how it sort of isolated them growing up in the state. The movie also features incredible cinematography showing off the many mountains and landscapes in the area.
3. Montana's Mining History
The movie takes a visit to a fictional mine called Copperhead at one point - but a real open pit mine was used for filming. That was Golden Sunlight Mine, located in Whitehall, and it serves as a crucial turning point in the siblings' relationship.
4. Native American Representation
There are several Native characters throughout the film that dive a bit into their family history - one character tells the story of his Mohican ancestry in New York, and how his grandfather eventually made his way to Montana and found refuge with the Blackfeet tribe, where they've been located ever since.
5. Someone Says "If You Don't Like The Weather in Montana, Wait Five Minutes"
If you've lived in Montana, you've heard someone say this before. The filmmakers - Scott McGehee and David Siegel - confirmed in the Q&A afterward that this line was added in after they first came to Montana.
There's no release date yet for Montana Story, but the movie has been picked up for distribution by Bleecker Street, so we should be hearing more on that front soon. You can check out the Montana Film Festival's website for more information about the remaining films yet to be shown.