TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Montana Story’

Posted in Festival Coverage, TIFF 2021, What's Streaming? by - September 20, 2021
TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Montana Story’

Directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, Montana Story tells the story of Cal Thorne (Owen Teague), a young man who finds himself returning to the family ranch that he left due to the ailing health of his father, Wade. Having lived a (mostly) destructive life that has left his family in ruins emotionally and financially, Wade now lies in a coma, cared for by his personal nurse, Ace (Gilbert Owuor). Things become more difficult when Cal’s estranged sister, Erin (Haley Lu Richardson) returns to the ranch to see her father’s plight for herself.

Montana Story is a beautiful and poignant tale about pain that’s been frozen in time. Their simple story may be dwarfed by the magnitude of their surroundings. But their story remains of great importance for them.

At one point, there’s an interesting line that suggests that forgetting the past can be both healthy and negative. This is certainly the case for both siblings who remain unable to do so. The events of Cal and Erin’s childhood broke them, and they still feel the traumas of their past. What’s more, because their father remains in a coma, it is impossible for him to answer for his actions. In this way, his children also remain emotionally trapped by a tyrant whom they cannot confront. Montana Story is as much of a portrait of a family at the end of one life as it is about the potential beginning of two more.

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Born at a very early age, Steve is a Toronto-based writer and podcaster who loves to listen to what matters to our culture on screen. When he first saw Indiana Jones steal the cross of Coronado, he knew his world would never be the same and, since then, he’s found more and more excuses to digest what’s in front of him onscreen. Also, having worked as a youth and community minister for almost 20 years, he learned that stories help everyone engage the world around them. He’s a proud hubby, father (x2) and believes that Citizen Kane, Batman Forever (yes, the Kilmer one), and The Social Network belong in the same conversation. You can hear his ramblings on ScreenFish Radio wherever podcasts are gettable or at his website, ScreenFish.net.
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