126 user 191 critic

Wendy and Lucy (2008)

R | | Drama | 6 March 2009 (UK)
1:34 | Trailer
Over the summer, a series of unfortunate happening triggers a financial crisis for a young woman and she soon finds her life falling apart.


Kelly Reichardt


Jonathan Raymond (screenplay by) (as Jon Raymond), Kelly Reichardt (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
9 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Michelle Williams ... Wendy
Lucy ... Lucy the Dog
David Koppell David Koppell ... Kid by Fire
Max Clement Max Clement ... Kid by Fire
Sid Shanley Sid Shanley ... Kid by Fire
Dave Hubner Dave Hubner ... Kid by Fire
Michelle Worthey Michelle Worthey ... Sadie
Will Oldham ... Icky
Wally Dalton ... Security Guard (as Walter Dalton)
Roger D. Faires Roger D. Faires ... Recycler in Wheelchair (as Roger Faires)
Boggs Johnson Boggs Johnson ... Recycling Man
Tanya Smith Tanya Smith ... Grocery Checker
Michael Brophy Michael Brophy ... Grocery Store Stocker
John Robinson ... Andy
John Breen John Breen ... Mr. Hunt


A woman's life is derailed en route to a potentially lucrative summer job. When her car breaks down, and her dog is taken to the pound, the thin fabric of her financial situation comes apart, and she is led through a series of increasingly dire economic decisions. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


On the long road, friendship is everything.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Adapted from the short story "Train Choir" by co-writer Jonathan Raymond See more »


Andy: [after catching her for shoplifting] The food is not the issue. It's about setting an example, right?
Wendy: Sir, I'm not from around here. I can't be an example.
See more »


Featured in What Is Cinema? (2013) See more »

User Reviews

Too lacking in insight and meaning to justify the pace and substance, ending up a little bit of an indie-cliché
1 March 2009 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Wendy is travelling across America to get to Alaska where she hears that there are more jobs than people. When her car breaks down in a small town, she and her dog Lucy are stranded with dwindling resources and increasing demands on them. Attempting to shoplift some food sees Wendy spend the afternoon in the local police department and, when released, Lucy is nowhere to be found. With her car needing expensive work and nowhere to stay, Wendy is forced to try and find Lucy before she can continue to journey, or rather "if" she can continue her journey.

I wanted to really like this film for many reasons. As an indie sleeper hit and a very minimalist film the intellectual side of me wants to find meaning in it so that I can be one of the ones that "get it" and somehow be above those that do not. I'm being honest about this and I think many might have the same motivation whether they know it or not. I pushed this down before watching but the film itself really helped me to do this because there is little of real value here for me to get excited about. It is not that the film is slow and silent (80 minutes feels a lot longer) although I can see why this would bother some users and it is not the lack of "events" either because I can cope with that. No, what got me was that the film seemed to have very little to say. I was looking for it to be intelligent and subtle, using Wendy's predicament to say something about life and, although it does, it is hardly worth listening to and it doesn't spread its message across the whole film. So mostly what we get is Wendy wandering around the place with little being done either in terms of "actions" or "subtext".

Trust me, I was looking for it to say something about those on the edge of society, those forced to make tough emotional decisions for financial reasons but it just didn't. Plenty of people have found it to do just that and have found a lot of meaning in the film and I am really glad that they did – and a little jealous that I did not, but I didn't and there is nothing I can do about that. Williams is good in the film but she is working with very little and it is an indie-film cliché to suggest that the lack of substance is substance. That the film emotionally engages at all is down to her presence. Patton is OK but mostly just supporting the film with his presence while Dalton is a kindly presence.

Wendy and Lucy is a minimalist indie film that some will find has beauty and insight in the silence and the detail but for me personally I found it to be far too light in meaning to justify the running time – which is a pretty damming thing to say about a film that barely hits 80 minutes. Williams is good and the potential is there but it is not insightful, meaningful or engaging enough to achieve what it sets out to do.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

6 March 2009 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Train Choir See more »

Filming Locations:

Oregon, USA See more »


Box Office


$200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,218, 14 December 2008

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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