The crowning achievement of this drama is the game and invigorating performance of Regina Williams, from her flinty exasperation to her no-guff candor to her sly, self-protective sarcasm. Hers is a performance suffused with compassion yet devoid of cheap and easy sentiment.
The manic pace at which Desplechin sifts and slides through tones can be overwhelming, even alienating, but his insistence on wandering down paths most filmmakers would not dare explore, much less envision, provides a heart-searching pleasure for those willing to follow.
"I really identified with these cowboys on horses who were searching for something and making decisions about whether they wanted to be a part of society or not. At some point, I realized, maybe when I was a little bit older, how oppressively male this genre was."