Wendy and Lucy
Starring Michelle Williams and William Patton
Directed by Kelly Reichhardt (Old Joy)
Rated R for language
Appropriate for ages 17+
Young Wendy (Williams) is traveling with her dog Lucy from Muncie, Indiana to Alaska for a job, when her car breaks down in a small Oregon town. With little money to her name, she ties her dog to the front of grocery store bike rack and attempts to shoplift some dog food to feed her. After she is released from jail, she returns to the grocery store to find her dog is missing. This leads her to a desperate attempt to find her dog without the use of money or resources.
There is no doubt that Michelle Williams is a great actress. Her portrayal of Wendy makes you want to break down the fourth wall and help her so bad that it hurts. You want to reach out through the screen and hand her money, advice, or anything else that might be of assistance. For this reason alone, her performance is commendable.
Other than the great performance though, I did not like this film. Wendy is so helpless and hopeless, and the tone is so dark that I could not help but get a little depressed. The script could have used some tension breakers here and there rather than the constant downward spiral.
To make matters worse, the supporting cast was pretty weak, especially when compared to the film’s star. I understand that there was probably very little budget for actors, but at many times this looked like a student film where the actors were paid in free pizza. Even though this is a truly independent film, they could have done better. C+