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
Too lacking in insight and meaning to justify the pace and substance, ending up a little bit of an indie-cliché
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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