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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday, September 23, 2014 - Edition No 916 
Reckoning

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WENDY AND LUCY

SYNOPSIS:
Wendy Carroll (Michelle Williams) is driving to Ketchikan, Alaska with her dog Lucy, in the hope of finding work at the fish cannery for the summer. When her car breaks down in Oregon, a sequence of events transpires and Lucy becomes lost. Wendy makes a frantic search for Lucy but finds herself reliant on others as her financial situation becomes dire.

Review by Louise Keller:
Exquisitely simple, this pearl of a film is an ode to freedom. While Kelly Reichardt's beautifully contained film is complete in its portrayal of a young woman in search of a new life, it is also but a chapter in her journey. The script is as uncluttered and unselfconscious as Michelle Williams' performance; both are superb. There are no distractions, like make up or wardrobe, for Williams' Wendy. In fact, we are not told very much about her at all. But we do know she effectively has nothing except her beloved dog Lucy, with whom she is travelling to far-away Alaska, where her hopes to earn some money can be realised.

While nothing much happens, Reichardt's film is about plenty. It's about a young woman struggling to survive. Her actions speak far louder than words. And it's about the response she gets from strangers who cross her path. Wendy's yellow gold, 39lb faithful canine companion Lucy is her friend, confidante and playmate. Whether or not you wish to project Lucy to be a symbol beyond that is up to you.

Wendy hums to herself as if to keep herself company as she walks through the woods with her dog Lucy. She is obviously adrift - physically, financially and emotionally. When she calls her sister from the phone booth, there is defensiveness at the other end. Why is she calling? She sleeps in her beat-up old car before being told she cannot sleep in her car. Nor is her car allowed to be parked there. The car breaks down, the dog food has run out and so has Wendy's money. Then Lucy becomes lost. When Wendy pins notices around town with the headline 'I'm Lost' above Lucy's photo, it is like a cry for help of her own plight. What happens next? What can Wendy do? Where can she go? What are her choices? Reichardt's poetic film invites us along as fate sneers, some strangers judge and other stranger show humanity as Wendy works it out.



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

WENDY AND LUCY (M)
(US, 2008)

CAST: Michelle Williams, Will Patton, Will Oldham, John Robinson, Wally Dalton, Larry Fessenden and Lucy the dog

PRODUCER: Larry Fessenden, Neil Kopp, Rajen Savjani

DIRECTOR: Kelly Reichardt

SCRIPT: Kelly Reichardt, Jonathan Raymond

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Sam Levy

EDITOR: Kelly Reichardt, Mike Burchett

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Ryan Smith

RUNNING TIME: 80 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Potential

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane: March 26, 2009; Perth: April 5, 2009







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