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Wendy and Lucy

Life isn’t So Easy On the Road

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Michelle Williams is, despite her stint on Dawson’s Creek", a true indie darling -- and Wendy and Lucy is nearly as indie as you get. But while many equate indie films to automatically being good, this particular film is nothing more than a mediocre story with an amazing performance by Williams.

There’s not much story to speak of, the film is all about the moments, not about the whole. Williams plays Wendy, a woman who is traveling from an unknown destination to Alaska, for vague reasons. She’s currently passing through a small town in Oregon with her only companion Lucy, her dog. As she’s spending a few days in this small, unassuming town, Wendy finds herself to be utterly alone as the few things she can rely on begin to fail her

Most of the film is, obviously, centered on Lucy. After Wendy shoplifts at the local grocery store, she’s caught and shipped off to the local jail. Unfortunately, Lucy is left tied up outside and when Wendy returns at the end of the day, she’s gone. Wendy begins a long search, in a foreign town for her one static companion. She finds herself alone and veering off of her set course.

While director Kelly Reichardt tells you from the beginning that this is a film that isn’t about overarching plot, there still seems to be something lacking. Essentially, Williams is the only real character in the film, except for a security guard that’s her only anchor in the town. It’s the sort of story Hemingway would tell, where not much happens on the surface and everything is about what’s not told. But I think what made me not connect was the utterly predictable and typical Hollywood ending.

This film is set up nicely and because of its lack of a true, linear story, you can never quite figure out where it’s going. That is usually the beauty of many art house films, indies that experiment and attempt to engage the audience in other ways outside of the plot. And for a movie that seems to do this so well in the beginning, it doesn’t last. Towards the end, everything starts to go as you would expect it and it ends exactly the way you thought it would. Reichardt gets the feeling she wants with that ending, but she does it in a very cliché way that seems to spoil what came before it. Yet, despite that flaw that I found in it, it is still a truly engaging film and Williams does a fantastic job of carrying the entire thing on her shoulders.