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Wendy and Lucy (2009)

Michelle Williams , Will Oldham , Kelly Reichardt  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michelle Williams, Will Oldham, Will Patton, Walter Dalton, Larry Fessenden
  • Directors: Kelly Reichardt
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Oscilloscope
  • DVD Release Date: May 5, 2009
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,485 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Wendy and Lucy" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Wendy & Lucy is a touching political road movie about an idealistic young drifter, her faithful dog and the wide-open spaces of the Pacific Northwest. Played by Academy Award-nominated actress Michelle Williams, Wendy is a down-on-her-luck girl who's hoping to turn things around for herself with a summer job in Alaska. On route to her new life, Wendy's car breaks down in Oregon and the thin fabric of her financial situation comes apart. Gorgeously filmed in stark, luminous imagery, Wendy & Lucy addresses issues of sympathy and generosity at the edges of American life, revealing the limits and depths of people's duty to each other in our modern times. Academy Award nominee Michelle Williams stars this powerful drama from Kelly Reichardt, director of critically acclaimed Old Joy.


Michelle Williams is superb... in Reichardt s wise, deceptively simple tale. --David Ansen, Newsweek, on his 10 Best List for 2008

Williams gives a lovely a performance as a moviegoer could ask for. --Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

In the space of a few years, Ms. Reichardt has become one of the most interesting young American filmmakers --Manolha Dargis, New York Times

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Succinctly and mourningly poetic March 2, 2009
Michelle Williams delivers a very understated performance as a down-on-her-luck Wendy, who brings her loyal dog, Lucy, along with her to a journey for a supposed prosperity. It is a very quiet and subtle performance that, Wendy, with little money and no dog food, and an incident which prompts her to lose Lucy, meshes along with her surroundings: a dry and monotone small town, where the sun shines to merely beat down the lumbering, sluggish skins of the inhabitants.This is a very important work, especially in light of today's economic situation: "You need an address to get an address, and you need a job to get a job." succinctly says the kind-hearted security guard who provides help to Wendy during her descent into financial and emotional ruins. "Wendy and Lucy", directed by Kelly Reichardt, emphasizes the many possibilities that are available to an individual by virtue of how everything could be wiped away by being in a little mishap that triggers a chain of unfortunate events, each worse than the previous ones. The dire circumstances that Wendy finds herself in may not be grandiose or explosive, but her plight is all the more heartbreaking and terrifying: just a few more dollars for a bag of dog food for Lucy would have made all the difference. Along with "The Wrestler", though this one is on a simpler and quieter scale, "Wendy and Lucy" is visual poetry that examines a broken and fragile character that perseveres through life's many disappointments. Very ethereal and melancholic; it is simply beautiful.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heartbreaking portrayal of true suffering... May 21, 2009
Sometimes simple can say so much, and that is the case with this independent gem. `Wendy and Lucy' quite simple tells the story of Wendy and Lucy, a young woman and her dog. Wendy is virtually homeless, sleeping in her car as she makes her way to Alaska where she feels her life will be better. Lucy is her faithful `yellow gold' dog who sticks by her side and proves to be the only sunlight in Wendy's life. The film opens with Wendy and Lucy walking through the woods playing fetch as a consistent and almost tranquil hum embeds itself in our ears and it is that simple imagery that tells us all we need to know about Wendy.

Without Lucy, she is lost.

The film doesn't have much plot depth, for it can be summed up in one sentence:

"Wendy loses Lucy and desperately tries to find her."

Trying to cast the film off as nothing more than that though is a shame, since despite the shallow plot points the film has such rich depth of character here. The real story is not Wendy's attempt to find Lucy but WHY Wendy must find Lucy. There is a statement on the back of the DVD that makes the accusation that the reason this film has an R rating is that censors don't want children to realize that people are lonely and that life is not always peachy. Well, honestly, this film is rated R for the F-words that are spoken (sure, there aren't a LOT, but there are more than 3); but I think that there lies some truth in that statement as well. We (and by we, I mean the general adult public) try so hard today to shield our children from pain that we don't prepare them enough for the actuality of that said pain. When they come face to face with the harsh realities of the world outside they may, sadly, be unable to cope with it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Williams shines in underwritten part May 16, 2009

In the almost aggressively noncommercial "Wendy and Lucy," Michelle Williams plays Wendy Carroll, a cash-strapped young woman who's driving from Indiana to Alaska in search of a job. Riding shotgun with her is a yellow German Shepard mix by the name of Lucy, the most reliable and trustworthy companion any drifter could possibly wish for. Wendy's situation goes from bad to worse when the beat-up `88 Honda Accord she's driving breaks down in a small town in Oregon and, not long after, Lucy herself goes missing. Wendy spends a sizable portion of the movie simply searching for the dog, while she endeavors to survive on an ever-dwindling supply of cash.

That's about all the "plot" there is to "Wendy and Lucy," which is more of a stripped-down, slice-of-life mood piece than an actual drama. Writers Jonathan Raymond and Kelly Reichardt focus almost exclusively on the moment-by-moment struggles Wendy goes through as she attempts to make her way through the world, sans money and virtually all meaningful contact with other human beings. Director Reichardt recounts Wendy's plight with an air of noncommittal detachment, allowing the drama to arise organically out of the simple observation of daily life. There isn't even a musical score to help heighten the drama or tug at the heartstrings.

While I admire what Raymond and Reichardt are attempting to do in "Wendy and Lucy," the fact of the matter is that the movie is almost too "small" for its own good (even in its running time, a mere 80 minutes). Without a sufficient back story to help explain how Wendy ended up in this predicament - and what, if anything, she is running away from - the movie fails to register the kind of emotional and psychological impact it might have had we gotten to know Wendy better.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent movie! This is a genuine story of someone ...
This is an excellent movie! This is a genuine story of someone and their dog trying to survive in hard times. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Roland
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful movie, fueled by a very good performance by ...
A wonderful movie, fueled by a very good performance by Michelle Williams. The film sometimes has the feel of an academic project, but consistently rises above pat conclusions and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by U. Moore
4.0 out of 5 stars People who need people (or at least a dog)
A spare, quiet look at how America is going for a lot of people on the economic edge. There is very little action, but the movie (which has its moments of humanity) is very... Read more
Published 4 months ago by QQ
2.0 out of 5 stars Too slow.
The director allows the scenes in this movie to drag on and on with little or no action. What could have been a good story line could have been told in about twenty minutes instead... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Gary E. Thorn
3.0 out of 5 stars How to Become Homeless
This is a realistic peek into how fragile and tentative "security" really is. Wendy looses everything bit by bit, and relies on the goodness of others. Well done portrait. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sienna
2.0 out of 5 stars Great cast, bad script
If you're like me, you found out about this film after seeing "Old Joy." This is not "Old Joy." Same director, same snail's pace, but this time director Kelly Reichardt gives us... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ricardo Mio
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Possibly My All-time Favorite Movie. (May Be Tied With Repo...
More and more of us are learning that life is going to be harder and hungrier than we expected. Wendy has a dream of Alaska but when her car dies she has to make a choice between... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Kexy Twosign
3.0 out of 5 stars Exhausting
This movie was both exhausting and frustrating. The film quality was good, the acting was decent, but the story was just okay.
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wendy and Lucy
This is a GREAT movie (especially for animal lovers). The copy that I ordered is used but in very great shape.
Published 14 months ago by kelly dwayne brooks
3.0 out of 5 stars Barely Living
A female loner is surviving on the margins. It may be a case of youthful stubborn rebellion and bad decisions or it may be this road trip was her best option. Read more
Published 15 months ago by mr. contrarian
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