Wendy and Lucy

Wendy and Lucy ★★★½

First Cow was my first Kelly Reichardt film, and I really enjoyed it, so I added more to my list. I've now seen Night Moves as well as Wendy and Lucy, and while she isn't on my list of favorite directors, I appreciate her deliberate style and determination to study her characters at their pace, as she is not always driven by plot mechanics.

This is one of those slice of life movies that a lot of people won't go for, but it's worth your time for Michelle Williams alone, especially since it's only 80 minutes long. Williams plays Wendy, a drifter whose funds are running on empty as she and her dog Lucy make their way to Alaska in search of work and a better future. Wendy's problems compound exponentially when her car dies, and after she gets herself into some trouble, Lucy goes missing. Most of the film is about Wendy's search for Lucy as she attempts to navigate the troublesome waters of being broke in a world that runs on money.

It's a slowly moving film where Williams is in nearly every shot, and she holds the screen very well, slowly breaking our hearts piece by piece until the shattering finale. On the surface, it may sound like a bleak picture, but the glimmers of hope that Reichardt offers bring some light into the frames. It's beautifully filmed and Williams is aces in the lead, but it probably isn't something I will go back and rewatch.

I definitely have a lifelong soft spot for dogs, though, and wanted to reach through the screen and give Lucy all the love because she's just the best girl.

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