Film Review



Kelly Reichardt’s emotionally felt and deeply poignant Wendy and Lucy is a masterwork of modesty, a film filled with nuance, subtlety, and intense compassion for the human (and animal) condition. Michelle Williams, who was robbed of an Oscar nomination, gave a deeply committed performance as a loner-type woman searching for her lost dog in small-town Oregon, etching a startling portrait of a woman who is literally at the end of her mental and physical rope. Reichardt’s unsentimental, extremely honest and affecting narrative offers multiple glimpses into the soul of a person, and how they process regret, loss, and acceptance, all over the course of 80 minutes. Sam Levy’s beautiful, naturalistic cinematography never did anything else other than capture each moment with quiet simplicity, which allowed Williams the free-range to inhibit a volatile character who is always searching for meaning in nearly every on-screen moment. There’s literally nothing wrong with any part of this film; I see no way that it could have been made better, and I usually reject the notion of being so concrete when it comes to art, because, after all, movies are a very subjective experience for everyone. But here I can firmly state that there’s not a fault to be found in Wendy & Lucy. Reichardt has unassumingly become one of cinema’s most vital voices, with unique gems such as Old Joy, Meek’s Cutoff, Night Moves, and the upcoming Certain Women (can’t wait to see it…) on her phenomenal filmography.


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