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Wendy and Lucy

2008

R CC
3.7 out of 5 stars (77) IMDb 7.1/10

When Wendy Carroll's car breaks down, the thin fabric of her financial situation comes apart and she confronts a series of increasingly dire economic decisions for herself and her dog.

Starring:
Michelle Williams, Lucy
Runtime:
1 hour, 19 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Kelly Reichardt
Starring Michelle Williams, Lucy
Supporting actors David Koppell, Max Clement, Sid Shanley, Dave Hubner, Michelle Worthey, Will Oldham, Wally Dalton, Roger D. Faires, Boggs Johnson, Tanya Smith, Michael Brophy, John Robinson, John Breen, Deneb Catalan, Skeeter Greene, Marilyn Faith Hickey, Jeanine Jackson, Brenna Beardsley
Studio Oscilloscope Laboratories
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
***1/2

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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Format: DVD
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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