The Film Independent Spirit Awards nominated Kelly Reichardt’s “First Cow” for Best Picture, Director, and Supporting Actor (Orion Lee), so let’s look back at our favorite Reichardt-film, “Wendy and Lucy” (2008).
“Wendy and Lucy” (2008) – Wendy (Michelle Williams) – a 20-something hoping for a streak of good luck – is driving to Alaska to look for work, and her dog Lucy is by her side and along for the ride. They’re taking a no-frills trip, but Wendy hasn’t received many luxuries in life, as we learn through a couple conversations and observing her semi-defeated demeanor.
Very early in the story, Wendy’s car breaks down in an Oregon small town (although Reichardt filmed in the Portland suburbs), and a number of misfortunes soon pile on top of each other. Reichardt and Jonathan Raymond’s script – along with Williams’ embedded performance – convey a sense of dread, like an inescapable nightmare, but one that’s happening in broad daylight.
It’s a story about youth, isolation, and economic Darwinism all wrapped up in frugal – but wholly complete – runtime of 80 minutes. This movie will break your heart, but it’s just a movie, right? Well, unfortunately, many Americans will find Wendy and Lucy’s financial dilemma as a familiar reality.
⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Image and Trailer credits: Oscilloscope Laboratories