Wendy and Lucy
Twentysomething Wendy (Michelle Williams) and her golden retriever dog Lucy embark on a cross-country road trip from Indiana to find temporary work in a fishing cannery in Ketchikan, Alaska. Their problems begin in Oregon when Wendy’s old Honda breaks down and Lucy disappears. With only a few dollars in her pocket, she finds herself alone, hungry and vulnerable. Determined, she sets out to track down her faithful best friend and to continue on her journey north.
With a principle cast of six (and one dog), Wendy and Lucy is a moving tale from the front line of the zero income demographic, people living on the periphery of the American Dream. Williams’ waif-like physique entirely inhabits the role of Wendy, and through very little dialogue she delivers a performance full of resilience and stoicism. The film’s minimal aesthetic is a triumph to Kelly Old Joy Reichardt’s stripped down direction, combined with her cinematographer Sam Levy’s restrained camera (full of long shots) and Williams’ modest performance. Shopping malls, petrol stations, roads and railway tracks are captured as flat grey locations that Wendy finds herself in whilst looking for Lucy. The film’s sound design of trains, coming and going, softly captures the melancholic ebb and flow of life in the northwest. Short and sweet, Wendy and Lucy are worth spending some time with.
Cameo, Edinburgh, Fri 6 Mar. Filmhouse, Edinburgh, Fri 27 Mar.