Review: Cowboys (2020)


Cowboys (2020)

Directed by: Anna Kerrigan | 83 minutes | drama | Actors: Steve Zahn, Jillian Bell, Sasha Knight, Ann Dowd, Gary Farmer, Chris Coy, John Reynolds, Bob Stephenson, AJ Slaght, John Beasley

Young Joe, on the brink of adolescence, carries a big secret. A secret that can count on little acclaim at home, in the less progressive part of the United States. Moreover, father and mother have their own problems. The first’s bipolar disorder has put a lot of strain on Mom and Dad’s marriage. Fleeing seems to be the only way out for Joe. Somewhere where there is no domestic misery. But above all to a place where the youngster can be himself. A place where Joe, born as Josie, can just be a boy.

In the end, Joe (starring role for debut trans boy Sasha Knight) sees no other choice in informing her parents about her desire to be a boy. Her mother Sally (Jillian Bell), the epitome of conservative America, doesn’t want to hear about it. Joe has been put on Earth by God as a girl and there is no going back. However, Father Troy (Steve Zahn) is more approachable. It is a strange idea, but the love for his child has the upper hand.

The two conceived the idea of ​​traveling together through the mountains towards free Canada, without Mother Sally’s knowledge. Away from the conservative homeland, where big men with ditto guns are in charge. The consequences are huge. Not only do they get the federal police after them. The bottom of Troy’s medicine stock is also increasingly in sight. The journey through rugged forests and over inhospitable peaks also becomes an increasingly mental ordeal. Is this the way out Joe had in mind?

The great thing about ‘Cowboys’ is that the film reveals its plot scene by scene. When the viewer sees how father and child traverse the American mid-mountains – beautifully contrasted – the past and future of the characters is uncertain. As a result, the involvement with the characters can shift repeatedly.

Mother Sally may be a little inflexible, but most of all concerned for the fate of her child. Her family will never be able to tolerate that her daughter would rather be a son. Contemporaries may be even more merciless. Her child must be protected. Also to himself. Father Troy is more open-minded. With his somewhat childish soul, he has little eye for consequences. Because of his mental problems, he has often neglected his fatherly duties. Now it’s time to get up. Who of the two is right is not a definite fact.

Ultimately, both mother and father have the best intentions for their child. Because ‘Cowboys’ puts the focus on the parents, Joe himself remains largely in their shadow. The brave decides to go through life as a boy, but otherwise her character remains somewhat passive. On the one hand, this is a credit to the film, by not so much emphasizing the transition, but rather wanting to highlight the difficult role of the parents. On the other hand, sympathy predominates, but ‘Cowboys’ lacks real necessity.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.