Wendy is a young woman with no history and a family that is indifferent toward her. In addition, she has a clapped-out car, a dog called Lucy, a kind soul, and precisely enough money to get her to seasonal work in Alaska. This film comprises eighty minutes of masochistic liberal angst, in which Wendy's car breaks down, she can't afford the repairs, she gets arrested for shoplifting, and loses her dog in the process. Evidently, we're meant to feel desperately sorry for Wendy. She's one step away from homelessness and the system doesn't so much oppress her as just not give a shit. And this film wants us to empathise so badly, it hits us over the head with just how pathetic Wendy is. Feel its earnestness in the pure realism of Kelly Reichardt's direction! Feel it's aching heart in Michelle Williams' uglied-up haircut and tragic face! Be manipulated by the scene in which Wendy has to give up her pet dog Lucy!
WENDY AND LUCY is a masochistic, manipulative, one-note film. Over-hyped and by far not as profound as it thinks it is.
OLD JOY played Cannes, Toronto and London 2008 and was released in the US last year. It was released earlier this year in Croatia and is currently on release in the UK. It opens on Australia on March 26th in Australia; and on April 8th in France.