Tags: Adam Hofbauer, Film Review, SLIFF, Wendy and Lucy
In director Kelly Reichardt’s Wendy and Lucy, Michelle Williams portrays a young woman in search of work in a vast American road-scape. Accompanied by her dog, she becomes stranded in a small town in Oregon when her car breaks down, and the film follows her everyday struggle to survive in a state of homeless transience Illuminated by a strong performance by Williams and a stark, bare bones production design, Wendy and Lucy continues in the style established by Reichardt in her previous film, Old Joy. In doing so, it improves even on that great film’s merits, creating an inescapable sense of time and place, and a person lost within both.
Williams disappears into her role, looking boyish and almost masculine in her unwashed and exhausted state. And while sometimes an unknown face contributes to our empathy for a character, it is the fact that we recognize Williams that makes her all the more convincing. In the last few months, this has become a country where poverty can seemingly strike anyone at any moment. And here is a movie-star, recognizable from television shows and tabloid headlines, portraying someone as hopeless and exhausted as one can possible become.