After 6 weeks, Talk Cinema has resumed at the AFI for the start of the Spring session. Today’s film was “Wendy and Lucy,” an unabashed indie film in every way (and the third movie I have seen this month featuring a yellow Labrador Retriever, same breed as my incorrigible puppy.
The 4th feature from director Kelly Reichardt, Wendy and Lucy follows a brief slice of life for young Wendy, a barely out of her teens waif and her beloved dog Lucy, enroute from Indiana to Alaska to find work. We find them as they sojourn briefly in
This turns out to be a much bleaker movie than I was prepared for, though, like all good films, it has managed to linger in my mind for days after viewing it. The only star is Michelle Williams as Wendy, Lucy played by the director’s own dog, Lucy (why bother to contrive fictional names?). Most people remember Williams as Heath Ledger’s wife in “
The movie is scoreless, save for the tune Wendy hums throughout the film (to the annoyance of many in the audience). The photography is competent but unremarkable. The acting throughout is good in that indie way, with none of the disquiet we feel watching non-actors in low-budget films. All of the actors have acted before in something or somewhere.
The movie is bleak, but not slit-your-wrists bleak, more of an Edward Hopper/Andrew Wyeth/Hughie Lee-Smith bleak. Sure won’t do much for