Director: Anna Kerrigan
Runtime: 1hr 23min
Cast: Steve Zahn, Sasha Knight,Jillian Bell and Ann Dowd
Synopsis: Separated from his wife, a well-intentioned father runs off with his transgender son into the Montana wilderness.
Director/writer Anna Kerrigan [Hot Seat (2017), The Impossibilities TV series (2015)] brings us Cowboys, a very timely and moving film which explores emotionally charged themes, fraught family dynamics and gender identity.
Steve Zahn, comedian and actor [Reality Bites (1994), That Thing You Do! (1996), Stuart Little (1999), Shattered Glass (2003), Rescue Dawn (2007), the Diary of a Dallas Buyers Club (2013), War for the Planet of the Apes (2017). On television, Zahn appeared in the recurring roles of Davis McAlary in HBO’s Treme (2010–2013) and Ronnie LaFontaine in ABC’s Modern Family (2014–2015)] stars as Troy, a troubled but well-intentioned father who has recently separated from his wife Sally [Jillian Bell, comedian, screenwriter and actor Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019), Workaholics (TV 2011-2017), 22 Jump Street (2014), Inherent Vice (2014)].
Aghast at Sally’s refusal to let their trans son Joe (Sasha Knight) live as his authentic self, Troy runs off with Joe into the Montana wilderness. Meanwhile police detective Faith [Ann Dowd [The Leftovers (TV 2014–2017),The Handmaid’s Tale TV 2017-2021), Hereditary (2018), American Animals (2018)] pursues them, but her resolve about the case is tested the more she learns about Joe’s family.
Cowboys is a modern-day Western which is a tale of rescue, family betrayal and a father and son on the run.
The heart of the movie lies in the relationship between Knight’s character Joe, and Steve Zahn, who plays his father. Zahn’s character, Troy, has bipolar disorder and takes his son away from his transphobic mother so he can live as the boy he is, leading the police on a chase through the Montana wilderness. Anna Kerrigan cast the perfect trans actor in Sasha Knight for the role of Joe and the movie is full of powerful heart-swelling moments.
With outstanding ensemble acting, a well-paced and thrilling human storyline emerges, about a father who was accepting of their child and just wanted his happiness and best interests to be upheld, despite his own real problems with mental health.
Streaming on digital platforms
Images courtesy of Blue Finch Films