Wendy and Lucy

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Posted April 30, 2009 in The Small Screen

The most tragic part of Wendy and Lucy—director Kelly Reichardt’s tale of a young Alaska-bound woman and her dog—is not so much how things end up with them but that the protag is so downtrodden in life that she can’t even muster the stamina to seek a little help. Worse, she goes against anything like a gut feeling, nor does she admit she needs it. There are dark underpinnings throughout the soundtrackless film as unlucky Wendy (played brilliantly by Michelle Williams) is caught up in Oregon while en-route to Ketchikan to the impossible north. The car breaks down, the dog goes missing and Wendy hums with frayed nerves as she counts her dwindling stack of money. All safety nets gone, she collects cans and bottles and pilfers dog food for her traveling companion, whom she holds dearer than any known homo sapien. Exactly what has happened in her past is left to viewer guesswork, but what’s beyond any doubt is that it’s not worth going back to. Well-directed in the style of Italian Neo-Realism (so we’re told), Wendy and Lucy performs the trick of stirring empathy without resorting to sentimentality. (Red Vaughn)

 

EXTRAS: A collection of short films from Kelly Reichardt’s colleagues at Bard College.


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