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Wendy and Lucy
DVD disk
May 28, 2009 By: J.A. Hamilton
Wendy and Lucy order download
Director:
Kelly Reichardt

Actors:
Michelle Williams
Walter Dalton
John Robinson

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A drifter named Wendy and her dog Lucy end up having car troubles on their way to Alaska, creating a harsh domino effect that goes from bad to worse.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
WENDY AND LUCY is an odd sort of film, shot more like a documentary on homeless people and plays out like bad country song. I’m not a hundred percent sure what director Kelly Reichardt wanted me to take away from this sad tale. Life’s tough? Don’t get caught stealing dog food? Sleeping the woods is stupid? Without a back story or explanation as why Wendy is where she is in life, or why she’s heading for Alaska, it’s hard to empathize and see where she’s coming from. Had they given me a commentary to take from, or had writer Jonathan Raymond given the script a little more substance, I might have a had a better idea of what Wendy was all about. Sadly, I was left in the dark.

Michelle Williams nailed the role of “lost soul” pretty well, though I couldn’t bring myself to feel sorry for her (OK, so I felt bad when she left the dog behind, but it was more like an angry WTF kind of sadness). I enjoyed the security guard’s good Samaritan bit (this flick needed a little heart), but for the life of me, I can’t imagine what the “F” possessed Will Patton to go near this script, especially for the throw away garbage role he ended up with ( I don’t know who I feel more sorry for, him or the dog). Not that there was a whole lot of dialogue here to begin with, but Patton can do so much better.

This film was unmercifully clumsy, repetitive and dauntingly boring. I kept waiting for something to happen, hoping to find a story (or theme) within the story here. Nope. Her car breaks down, she gets caught stealing, and loses her dog. She then spends the next hour looking for it, only to leave it behind. Nice payoff. I’ve never seen so little happen over such a long period of time. I see what they’re trying to do here, it just doesn’t happen. Oregon continues to look beautiful, but it’s hard to enjoy due to the amateur camera work (this looks like it was filmed with a camcorder and a budget of about a hundred bucks).

WENDY AND LUCY could have been something more than just a “ho hum” depressing look at the disgruntled life of a she-bum on the run. Not to sound cold, but in light our dwindling economy, I’m hard pressed to believe Wendy will find many bleeding hearts for her cause. Maybe if I’d known something more about her, shit ANYTHING at all about her, I might have cared. But HELL, you don’t even know if she makes it to Alaska. And with a title like WENDY AND LUCY, I was expecting a much larger bond between her and the dog (and maybe have it rescue her from a fire or something), especially after she spent the bulk of the movie looking for it. The least they could’ve done was give me a cool ending.
THE EXTRAS
Showcase: Five utterly ridiculous short films (averaging from 10-20 mins long) selected by director Kelly Reichardt from her colleagues at Bard College. Not to sound harsh (or like I have no sense of culture), but these guys are trying way too hard to be all “avant guard” and “artsy”. There’s nothing to see here.

Oscilloscope Releases: Twelve Oscilloscope titles, seven of which have poorly shot trailers. Again, not to sound like a dick, but these titles also look like they were filmed with a camcorder and have about as much production value as a documentary about my toilet.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Michelle Williams gave a great performance, but so did Brandon Routhe in SUPERMAN RETURNS and the movie still sucked. And there’s absolutely no excuse for under developed characters in a movie centered around ONE CHARACTER. Don’t waste your time with this one.
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