I prefer WENDY AND LISA
Did anyone who went to the London Film Festival last year manage to get to a screening of this film?
I caught a clip of it at the NFT the other night. It looks like it is going to be wonderful character driven story (about a homeless woman and her dog), albeit one in which not a great deal actually happens. Michelle Williams is fast becoming one of my favourite actresses.
Last edited by Edward; 25-02-2009 at 11:47 AM.
I prefer WENDY AND LISA
It's been too long, it's been too long...
Yes, this looks good. Michelle Williams won a few critics awards for it too, but the film was too small for the Oscars.
I'm so underwhelmed by Michelle Williams it isn't true. I was agog at her Oscar nomination for Brokeback.
I love the roles she is picking. Not shying away from even the smallest indie flicks.
She's so so dull.
I think she's one of Hollywood's most promising young actresses, and really very interesting.
I fail to see how somoene who's most recently been cast by Charlie Kaufman, Ang Lee and Martin Scorcese could be perceived as dull, but there you go.
I loved her in "Dick"
And if we stay together
We'll feel the rhythm of the evening taking us up high
Never mind the weather
We'll be dancing in the street until the morning light
That is an AMAZING review given that it is in TimeOut.Wendy and Lucy (2008)
Director: Kelly Reichardt
Time Out rating
From Time Out London
‘If a person can’t afford dog food, then they shouldn’t have a dog,’ snaps a preppy store clerk to Wendy (Michelle Williams) after catching her stealing food for her beloved yellow-gold retriever, Lucy. The clerk’s sentiment captures the debate at the heart of this brilliant, desperately sad Steinbeckian fable from American director Kelly Reichardt. It’s Reichardt’s third full-length feature (‘Old Joy’ was in cinemas last year), but only her first masterpiece.
In the film’s opening seconds, Wendy and Lucy’s energising mutual dependence is writ large with a remarkable, inconspicuous tracking shot that captures the pair frolicking through a woodland glade, setting the perfect tone for the heartbreaking minimalist weepie that lies ahead. Wendy is our heroine, a waifish tomboy on a journey up north where she hopes to find work in an Alaskan fish cannery. She’s a whisker away from financial penury when her minutely orchestrated plans go seriously awry and she loses her adored mutt during a prolonged stopover in the sleepy mill town of Williamsville, Oregon. As the quest to recover Lucy takes up the bulk of the story, a threat of loneliness and destitution bubbles frenetically beneath its stoical fašade. Reichardt is interested in exploring the domino effect of a plummet into insolvency and the idea that existing on meagre budgets calls for extreme prudence, prioritising and, often, sacrifice.
Stylistically uncomplicated and admirable in both its honesty and the terseness of its storytelling, the film manages that rare feat of being both remarkably prescient and modest at the same time. Steering clear of the lefty sermonising that crept into ‘Old Joy’, Reichardt and co-writer Jon Raymond employ a sincere and discreet depiction of life on the fringe, be it through the kindly mutterings of a pension-age security guard (Wally Dalton), or the person of a small-time mechanic (Will Patton) who can’t cut Wendy a deal for her broken-down car without risking his quality of life.
The story, too, is never over-egged with superfluous plot, dialogue or imagery and every minutely judged frame oozes gently with detail and emotion.The feather-light enhancements that Reichardt does add via the photography (DoP Sam Levy’s elegant framing of Wendy in the deserted Midwestern streets) and sound design (the constant clatter and wail of passing trains which act as both a surrogate release for Wendy’s pent-up despair and a constant call for her to continue with her journey) work wonders in proliferating the hushed desperation on screen.
The film it most resembles is Di Sica’s neo-realist landmark, ‘Umberto D’ (without the craven sentimentality and doggie anthropomorphism), but ‘Wendy and Lucy’ also contains thematic overlaps with many other great movies, such as the starkness and instability of communal life in Altman’s ‘McCabe and Mrs Miller’, the muted despair in the Dardennes’s ‘Rosetta’ and the austere, heart-wrenching poetry of Kiarostami’s ‘Where Is the Friend’s House?’.
But central to it all is Michelle Williams’s beautifully restrained and humane performance (her best by some stretch) which embodies the pent-up frustrations, doubts, fears and dilemmas that this lonely soul has been burdened with. Her nuanced and naturalistic delivery wrings poignant truth from the realities of Wendy’s struggle for perseverance and dignity, where every decision is crucial, and every futile cry of ‘Lucy!’ stabs directly at the heart. It’s what makes this film the small miracle that it is.
Author: David Jenkins
I'm desparate to go see this on Friday but all my arty friends are busy. Does any mooper want to come see it instead?
Last edited by Edward; 04-03-2009 at 11:45 PM.
Actually maybe it would add to the melancholy to see it alone.
Watched it! Fantastic!!
Can someone edit this thread to include a poll please?
It's not showing anywhere in Oxford so I'm going to have to wait for the DVD. But this is one of my MOST ANTICIPATED films.
I must warn you Patrick, it is a very uneventful film.
However the central performance is so exposed that it is really, really touching.
Can someone please add a poll to this thread please!
Rather pointedly, I've had Wendy's cries of "LUCY, LUCE....", stuck in my head since I walked out of the cinema earlier today.
Ok, thanks for the poll (whoever it was)!
Here's my quick review:
Fantastic film. Michelle Williams is such an understated actress (I realise that she is not to everyone's liking and I can completely understand why) and that is the reason that her role in a film like this makes perfect sense. It is a performance that is more about nuance and gesture, more about what the character doesn't say rather than what she does say and Williams totally nails it.
I agree that it is too small a film to get high-profile recognition and can I say, I think I prefer it that way.
I've just seen this and really enjoyed it, it was so beautifully sad and really well made. My friend has just spent the entire 5 minute bus journey home crying.
Not much wowed me, but it really wasn't a showy film at all (and felt more real because of it).
Spoilery bits -
I really hope Wendy makes a success of her life and gets Lucy back. I loved that she went to all that effort just to say goodbye to her. A very moving scene, but the one that I found the saddest was when she ran into the bathroom after the encounter with the old guy in the woods. Her pounding at the walls, sort of trying to hug them, hammered home how there's no comfort in her life perfectly, and it tore me right up.
I also thought the scene when the security guard gave her that tiny amount of money was a nice moment/statement.
My one criticism is that I would have liked more time between Wendy and Lucy shown at the beginning. It would have made the loss even more upsetting..
: this is on Film 4 tomorrow night, for anyone who still wants to see it (and has Film 4).
I had curiously forgotten about its entire existence and content, quite odd for something that i got so much out of it. Maybe it's like in Krust's thread, and i've forgotten what it looks like because i'm in love with it
Hmmm.. saw this the other night
It was so naturalistic and low budget - looks like much expense was spared for the lighting! - I really thought I wasn't going to take to it, but it was a slow burner and the pay off made it worthwhile. Rather charming.
Loved Michelle in Shutter Island too
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