Wendy and Lucy. 2008. USA. Directed by Kelly Reichardt. Screenplay by Reichardt, Jonathan Raymond. With Michelle Williams, Lucy, Larry Fessenden, Will Patton. 35mm. 80 min.
Michelle Williams’s career-defining portrait of a resilient but vulnerable drifter, stuck in Oregon with the vague promise of a decent job at an Alaskan fish cannery, her only companion her flaxen-furred mutt Lucy, brings to mind Barbara Loden’s Wanda, Martin Scorsese’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, and Gena Rowlands in any John Cassavetes film: adamantine women on the razor’s edge of destitution and abandonment. Jim Hoberman in the Village Voice writes, “This prescient tale—which, like her previous feature, Old Joy (2006), Reichardt adapted from a story by Jon Raymond and shot in the Pacific Northwest—is haunted by lonesome freight trains, hobo jungle solidarity, and the idea of redeeming empty beer bottles for gas money…. [If] the filmmaker weren’t so doggedly, unsentimentally prosaic, she might have called this ballad Pictures of the Gone World or even ‘I Ain’t Got No Home.’” Courtesy Oscilloscope Pictures