Wendy and Lucy

Wendy and Lucy ★★★★½

"Can't get an address without an address, can't get a job without a job. It's all fixed."

As with First Cow, I'm astounded at how much Reichardt packs into what at first blush seems a deliberate, slow-cinema work. Because even if the scenes take their time, I don't think a single one is wasted or superfluous. Every moment illuminates an aspect of Wendy's and Lucy's life. At times it's a surprisingly funny look at the absurdities of scraping by in America (it's not that I'm parked here, it's just that my car won't start).

More often, though, it's devastatingly sad - a slow pan at the pound is absolutely heartbreaking for a couple of reasons - or appropriately terrifying, something out of a horror film. Unlike a recent Oscar contender's portrayal of homelessness, there's a pervasive sense of anxiety that one or both of our characters might not make it. And I'm not sure how Reichardt does it, but yet again she manages to walk the tightrope between bleak and heartwarming.

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