Wendy And Lucy

  • Year:2009
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Kelly Reichardt
  • Cast:Will Oldham, Will Patton, Michelle Williams
  • Release Date:March 26, 2009
  • Distributor:Potential
  • Running time:77 minutes
  • Film Worth:$12.50
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

“…will break your heart.”

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If you've ever lost a pet dog, or found yourself at the wrong end of an irreparably diminished bank account, Wendy And Lucy is the kind of film that will break your heart. This rough gem of a movie is a tiny window on Wendy's life, a young woman making her way to work in Alaska. Directed with rare dignity and restraint, Kelly Reichardt (Old Joy) takes small events and weaves an entrancing narrative from the most ordinary of an everyday existence.

Much of Wendy's backstory is revealed in glimpses. With only $500 to her name, she and her dog Lucy are driving north for work. She sleeps in her shaky car and washes at service stations. In a dilapidated corner of Oregon, her car breaks down, she's booked for shoplifting (dog food), and Lucy goes missing. A phone call to her sister occurs in third-person. In less than twenty-four hours, Wendy loses her plans, her position and her companion. It's not a great day.

Dignity is the core of Reichardt's bittersweet film, something that Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain) delivers with heartbreaking honesty. Minus the trappings of production (no hair, no makeup), she evokes Wendy's quiet sense of personal courage as if it were her own. She's fascinating to watch as Wendy refuses to succumb to the bad manners of her fragile position. This is not a film that turns on plot - there's precious little of that - nor does Reichardt feel compelled to deliver life lessons wrapped in the bow of a happy ending. It's a modest account of a vulnerable character for whom simple problems become life-changing obstacles. It's the stuff of life.

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