Arts + Culture » Film + TV

Wendy and Lucy

Directed by Kelly Reichardt (Mongrel Media)

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Wendy and Lucy takes place entirely in one dead-end Oregon town, and in it, we only see cash-strapped Wendy (Michelle Williams)'s car move twice: once, when Wendy and a security guard struggle to manually propel the vehicle, which has broken down, out of a parking lot where it's not allowed to be; and again, when it's towed to a garage. But despite this stagnation, Wendy and Lucy is a road movie. Wendy keeps painstaking track of where she's been (and how much it has cost) on worn notebook paper. When she speaks of finding work in Alaska, her final destination, there's tired hope in her voice. (Williams, a long way from Dawson's Creek, is amazing here.) Wendy's only travel companion is her dog Lucy and the pair gets separated when Wendy's arrested for shoplifting dog food. ("If a person can't afford dog food, they shouldn't have a dog," the sanctimonious stockboy who catches her observes.) Lucy's gone when Wendy returns, and a sad cycle follows---of calls to the pound, poster-distributing and desperate wandering.

There's not much else to the plot, but there doesn't really need to be. The film tells the simple, poignant story of someone losing the only thing she has left.

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