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Dear Wendy

15 customer reviews

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(Mar 21, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Directed by Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration) and written by Lars von Trier (Dogville), Dear Wendy is an audacious and stylish exploration of guns and violence in America. When a young loner named Dick (Jamie Bell) discovers a vintage handgun, he finds himself strangely drawn to it in spite of his pacifist views. Soon he forms a secret club with other misfits in his town who collect and revere antique guns and refer to themselves as "The Dandies." But despite their firm belief in the most important Dandy rule of all - "never draw your weapons" - they eventually discover that some rules are meant to be broken.

Special Features

  • Documentary Short: "Letters to Dear Wendy"
  • Interview with Thomas Vinterberg and Lars von Trier
  • Commentary with Thomas Vinterberg and DP Anthony Dod Mantle
  • Additional Commentary Track: "Letters to Dear Wendy"
  • 5 Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Jamie Bell, Alison Pill, Chris Owen, Bill Pullman, Michael Angarano
  • Directors: Thomas Vinterberg
  • Writers: Lars von Trier
  • Producers: Bettina Brokemper, Birgitte Hald, Bo Ehrhardt, Gillian Berrie, Juliane Thevissen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: March 21, 2006
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BQ5J2C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,620 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dear Wendy" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I was so excited to get caught up with "Dear Wendy," a film by two major filmmakers who I have enjoyed in the past. Bringing together writer Lars von Trier and director Thomas Vinterberg to tell a parable about a serious topic like guns sounded like a great idea. Vinterberg directed one of my all time favorite tales of family dysfunction, The Celebration, while von Trier is responsible for two films that I regard as absolutely brilliant (although they are loathed by many)--Dogville and Dancer in the Dark. Dear Wendy, at first glance, would seem to have much in common with von Trier's other works--particularly Dogville. That film eschewed conventional storytelling devices and employed a theatricality, an artificialness, to achieve a higher and profound result. Written in the same style, however, Dear Wendy lacks the dramatic heft and simply comes across as theatrical and artificial.

Dear Wendy is penned as a fable and an indictment of America's obsession with firearms. Wendy, in this case, is a pistol that is beloved by the main protagonist played by Jamie Bell. I have admired Bell in his challenging film choices and I can see why this film appealed to his sensibilities as an actor. Ultimately, though, the awkward script provides little chance for any of the actors to connect with the material in a relevant or believable way. The film is narrated in a love letter written by Bell to his gun and is one of the most stilted and pretentious voice-overs you're likely to encounter. Now, I realize this story is not meant to be believable--it's a parable. While I admire filmmakers with a unique vision willing to work against expectations, Dear Wendy ends up being so preposterous and so heavy handed that I lost all good will I might otherwise have had for this bizarre picture.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Wux Iapan on August 8, 2006
Format: DVD
I think DEAR WENDY requires different point of views and offers several interpretations. I guess we all share some kinda fascination for fire arms. It doesn't mean we disklike the existence of fire arms and their destructive power. Lars von Trier loves guns, he's a fire arm fanatic (I was told) and it becomes a bit obvious when you watch the interview on the DVD. So the film is a bit like a personal investigation, examining the fascination for fire arms in context to naturally disliking the use of it.

When compared to Moore's quasi-Documentation BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE you could say that it's not the fear that drives people to have fire arms but rather lack of self-confidence. The weapon literally becomes your friend and as with a good friend it's easier to walk along strangers and look them in their eyes. That's the result for the hero in this film. Only to carry the gun unseen by the others serves enough to make him able to walk straight and not feel like a complete loser. An experience that he begins to share with a friend. When they sorta think they have the proof that this simple thing actually works, they don't want to keep it to themselves as it would be "a shame not to share it with others". So next thing they do is builing a little group of so-called "Dandies" who worship their guns by the restriction not to use it and show it elsewhere but in their hideout.

It's very confusing later on, as I didn't quiet "get" what the thing about Sebastian was. He's black, and his grandmother used to serve in the hero's house years ago. As soon as Sebastian is part of the show, his grandmother is as well, triggering a really unpredictable plot point that, as a consequence, seems to force the dandies to break the roules and awaken their guns. Is there a message behind this?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mr. contrarian on October 28, 2013
Format: DVD
If one possible interpretation is complex allegory of WWII, the script does a lousy job of identifying Germany. If it was an indictment of America's obsession with handguns, it had the opposite effect upon me. It proves each of these teens should have been target practicing or hunting with their dads years earlier to learn respect and awe for guns. This would have innoculated them against the silly and foolish romanticism of guns they build up between each other. What they needed was supervision and discipline far more than any new gun laws. I see no evidence this filmmaker intended for anyone to walk away even more pro-gun, so I consider his script a failure.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Westley VINE VOICE on November 2, 2009
Format: DVD
Jamie Bell stars in "Dear Wendy" an intriguing treatise on America's fascination with guns that was written by Lars Von Trier and directed by Thomas Vinterberg. Bell plays Dickey, a timid young man who lives in a small mining town called Electric Park. Dickey considers himself a pacifist, and he and his group of misfit friends feel threatened in their rough-and-tumble town. So they seek "moral support" from carrying guns, with the understanding that they never use their guns except within the confines of the ramshackle meeting house, which is replete with an underground shooting range. The teens become lost in a fantasy world where they become old-fashioned "dandies" with their own code and theme song. Or something along those lines in this very offbeat and at times plain odd film.

Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg are two of the developers of Dogme 95 - a school of filmmaking that eschews artifice in favor of naturalism. Vinterberg directed the first film in this genre, the acclaimed "The Celebration," although his work since then has been largely criticized. Von Trier loves writing films that are critical of American violence and culture, such as "Dogville" and its sequel "Manderlay." His writing with "Dear Wendy" is typically pretentious and likely to turn off some viewers and perhaps make some angry. We Americans prefer our cultural criticism to be homebred and bristle when it comes from pasty-skinned Scandinavian socialists.

I don't usually enjoy pretentious indie films, but "Dear Wendy" and indeed much of Von Trier's work appeals to me because of its sheer audaciousness. I am, for example, a big fan of "Dogville" and "Dancer in the Dark." However, "Dear Wendy" could have benefitted from being even more grandiose and over-the-top; instead, it ends up being a bit tepid for this genre. Nevertheless, I did enjoy it on some level, and Jamie Bell is very good here, in yet another very offbeat role for the Brit.
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