Wendy and Lucy Movie Review

0
0
Subscribe to Michelle Williams alerts
A prime specimen of American independent cinema unencumbered by overbearing social commentary, Kelly Reichardt's serene Wendy and Lucy finds more startling emotional honesty in the relationship between a young woman, her lost dog, and a small cast of day-job regulars than most films dare ask of two humans. Securing Michelle Williams' place as one of the great young actresses currently working in the American cinema, Reichardt has miraculously cut down the lean metaphysics of her last work, 2006's majestic Old Joy, into something far more enrapturing, a sort of seasonal constellation.

Williams plays the distraught Wendy, who finds herself desperately searching for her dog Lucy in a small town in suburban Portland, Oregon. Her shabby clothing, ramshackle hygiene procedures and ruffled bob of emo-black hair designate her as part of a burgeoning class of nomadic neo-hippies and wanderers, but she has ambition, yearning for a job and a warm place to come home to. Early on, Wendy -- on the run from something, we never know exactly what -- encounters a pack of fellow drifters -- Joy's Will Oldham naturally plays the alpha named Icky -- who point her towards fishery jobs in Alaska. She begins to count her money and things look OK, but then she is busted for stealing dog food from a local supermarket, an act that sets off a set of relatively minor but nevertheless tragic happenings that keep Wendy from leaving Portland and drain her wallet.

While the plot preoccupies itself with Lucy's disappearance while Wendy is detained for the shoplifting, the movie is primarily interested in movement. Without home or support (a phone call home provides knowledge of a family of strapped suburbanites), Wendy is constantly being displaced from her makeshift abodes, whether from her busted car or from a cardboard bed in a local park where she is deeply frightened by a local lunatic (Larry Fessenden). And yet she can't seem to actually get anywhere.

Though it carries a certain feel for the cinema of the 1960s, Wendy and Lucy is intrinsically tied to more modern tent poles, primarily the current economy. We are left to wonder whether Wendy finds less tragic ends than that other Alaska-bound gadabout in Into the Wild, but she actually shares more with the down-and-out prospectors of John Ford's immortal The Grapes of Wrath. Alone with only a Walgreens security guard's (Walter Dalton) cell phone for communication, Wendy is a symbol of youth that no longer travels the country in search of spirituality and introspection but rather has to scour the national landscape for a decent wage.

Reichardt's film demands that Wendy be a subtle but piercing presence, reticent yet commanding. In the past few years, Williams has buried her Dawson's Creek days and rebuilt herself as a staple of more adventurous fare, appearing both in last year's wildly brilliant I'm Not There and this year's stampeding phantasmagoria Synecdoche, New York. More endemic to her work in Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, Williams underplays and internalizes much of the action in Lucy, making a terrified tantrum in a gas station bathroom all the more bewildering and bracing. Williams is as graceful as she is elemental and gives, by a large margin, the best American female performance I've seen this year.

Lil' bow wow.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : Neil Kopp, Anish Savjani,

Starring : , , Walter Dalton,

0
0
Subscribe to Michelle Williams alerts

Comments

Wendy and Lucy Rating

" Excellent "

Rating: NR, 2008

Advertisement

More Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams Brings Edgy Glamour To The Louis Vuitton Foundation Inauguration

'My Week with Marilyn' star Michelle Williams, 'The Dark Knight Rises' actress Marion Cotillard and 'The Bling Ring' director Sofia Coppola were among the star...

Shia LaBeouf Guilty of Smoking, Yelling at Actors at Broadway Show

Shia LaBeouf has pleaded guilty to being a general nuisance at a Broadway show in which he lit up cigarettes and yelled at the actors...

Emma Stone To Replace Michelle Williams In 'Cabaret' Musical

Hollywood star Emma Stone will make her debut on Broadway, starring in the ongoing revival of Cabaret. The 25 year old actress will play the...

Emma Stone May Finally Get That "Cabaret" Gig - Actress In Talks To Replace Michelle Williams In Broadway Revival

Emma Stone on Broadway is something we’d very much like to see. Recent reports state that this may be happening soon. The Easy A actress...

Advertisement

Jessica Alba Is Classy In Glowing Gown At The 2014 NYWIFT Designing Women Awards

'Sin City' actress Jessica Alba looked positively glowing in her stunning strapless bronze gown at the 2014 NYWIFT (New York Women in Film and Television)...

The Ladies Of "Destiny's Child" Back Together In Summery "Say Yes" Video

Are we all sufficiently in love with Destiny’s Child still? For those fans, who still live for the trio’s reunion, Michelle Williams just dropped the...

Jesus Christ Superstar US Tour Cancelled - Celebrity Stars Express Disappointment

The entertainment company responsible for the Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Spectacular Tour announced on Friday (30th May) the upcoming tour was cancelled. The company in...

Producers Pull The Plug On Star Studded ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ Arena Tour Just Days Before Debut Performance

A star studded cast taking a much loved musical on tour, what could have gone wrong for ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’? Frankly, we don’t know but...

Advertisement