In the coal mining region of Pennsylvania, Wanda Goronski is constantly drinking to shut out the problems in her life. Having deserted her husband and infant children, Wanda sleeps on her ... See full summary »
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In the coal mining region of Pennsylvania, Wanda Goronski is constantly drinking to shut out the problems in her life. Having deserted her husband and infant children, Wanda sleeps on her sister's couch - when she isn't sleeping with the latest man who bought her a drink - and is unemployed with no long term job prospect. Her drinking and her life in combination have made her an emotionless woman. Her life changes when she meets Norman Dennis in a bar. She initially believes he's the bartender, but in reality he's a petty criminal who just held up the bar in question. Even after she learns Mr. Dennis' occupation and despite he treating her poorly, she willingly goes along with him and his petty crimes as a way to get through life. Mr. Dennis, on the other hand, sees her as a conduit to bigger and better things. Although things don't turn out quite the way either of the two envision, Wanda does at least begin to feel once again. Written by
Mousy, uneducated, impoverished Wanda falls for a sleazy small-time crook, and they hit the road together. This movie has everything going against it--it's very low-key, cheaply made (dig that shaking camera), and paced only a little more swiftly than your average Andy Warhol film. But even though it plays like a cut-rate "Badlands," it succeeds powerfully in evoking sympathy for its pathetic title character. Its slow pace gives it a meditative quality for the patient viewer. Depressing but memorable; it should be more widely seen.
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