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Wendy and Lucy

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USA | 2008 | 80 minutes | Kelly Reichardt

March 15, 2020

Wendy (Michelle Williams) heads to Alaska with the promise of seasonal work at a fish cannery. But when she and her dog Lucy are waylaid by automotive troubles, there's no safety net in place to keep her circumstances from spinning out.

There will be a pre-recorded introduction from writer/director Kelly Reichardt.

Based on the short story "Train Choir" by Jon Raymond, Wendy and Lucy observes Reichardt's protagonist in freefall, as dire economic conditions play forward into each subsequent ripple of misfortune. Sleeping in her car, Wendy falls into despair when Lucy disappears. Upon its 2008 release, the film was recognized as meditation on the economic disparities of the Bush era, but it remains just as resonant in the present day, perhaps more so, given the lack of solutions made available in the intervening time.

"Wendy and Lucy lays bare the reality that poverty is a condition of circumstance rather than character, and that empathy, backed by a degree of outrage, is the only appropriate response."—Joel Blackledge, Little White Lies

"If you don't have a net and you've had a shitty education and you don't have the benefit of family that's in any better situation than you're in, how does one improve their lot? Not even reaching the middle class, but how do you just get a toehold in the next level?"—Kelly Reichardt

  • Director: Kelly Reichardt
  • Principal Cast: Michelle Williams, Walter Dalton, Larry Fessenden, Will Oldham, Will Patton
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 80 minutes
  • Screenplay: Jon Raymond, Kelly Reichardt
  • Cinematographers: Sam Levy
  • Language: English