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Dear Wendy (2005)

tomatometer

22

Average Rating: 4.4/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 14

No consensus yet.

audience

66

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 16,499

My Rating

Movie Info

The contradictions of America's simultaneous love and fear of violence go under the microscope in this drama from Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg. Dick (Jamie Bell) is a timid young man growing up in a mining town where he's been deemed to frail to work with the other men. Dick is given a toy gun by a girl who works in a dime store, and he becomes fascinated with the weapon -- especially when it becomes clear that the gun isn't a toy after all. Dick and a handful of other local misfits who

Unrated,

Art House & International, Drama

Lars von Trier

Mar 21, 2006

Wellspring Media - Official Site External Icon

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August 27, 2007:
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All Critics (73) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (41) | DVD (9)

We get it, Lars. Actually, we got it some time ago. Guns are bad things. They kill people and Americans are obsessed with them. Can we move on now?

February 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If Jamie Bell can't rescue a movie, it's probably not salvageable.

January 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The scenario's practically straitjacketed in commentary. Von Trier's weak story doesn't help.

October 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like the Dandies, Vinterberg and Von Trier are fascinated by something they despise, and despise it even more for fascinating them. And in the end, like the Dandies, Vinterberg and Von Trier still don't know the first thing about it.

September 27, 2005 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The audience is clearly expected to enjoy the bloodbath even while it disapproves.

September 24, 2005 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dear Wendy is loaded with ideas, some half-baked, some dead-on, some just stupid, and Vinterberg throws them at the screen willy-nilly.

September 24, 2005 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sadly, the real Thomas Vinterberg appears to be standing up. But for what exactly?

November 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Leave it to the Dogme brothers to do a strange, darkly comedic tale about a posse of dandies that fall in love with their guns.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

Entre la sátira, la fábula y el comentario crítico (...) el interés se pierde y no convencen.

May 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

The highlight is when a female member of the Dandies bares her breasts, which is about as pointless as the rest of the film.

January 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Naive, corruptible, lonely young man meets femme fatale, and it all leads, inevitably, absurdly, to destruction.

August 25, 2006
Christianity Today

The result is mixed.

March 23, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

a private joke for two guys who should know better.

March 21, 2006 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

The film has the unmistakable imprint of [Lars] von Trier, with its heavy-handed tirade, masquerading as satire, assailing what he perceives to be America's obsessions with guns and violence.

February 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Von Trier's caricature of teen angst and Vinterberg's junkyard-chic stylistic flourishes aren't about anything but their loathing of American culture.

February 24, 2006
Salt Lake Tribune

you won't know whether to laugh, cry, or moon the screen. Von Trier shoots, von Trier scores.

January 6, 2006 Full Review

The message doesn't come through with any particular wit or metaphoric punch, and it makes such a strong case for the joys of gun ownership that it could serve as a recruiting film for the National Rifle Association.

January 5, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

When you have to ask yourself whether this parable is intended as comedic satire or stone-cold-serious moralizing, that's a big sign that you're watching a misfire.

December 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

A dumb movie that thinks it's smart is the worst kind of awful.

October 20, 2005 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Wendy might have a bizarre sense of locale and idolatry, but the imagination of the filmmakers is just enough to help swallow their incredibly condescending posturing.

October 20, 2005 Full Review Source: FilmJerk.com
FilmJerk.com

the story makes no sense and depends upon people acting based on some crazed Dane's mental stereotype of Americans rather than actual human beings.

October 8, 2005 Full Review Source: New Times
New Times

Unable to determine its goal, Dear Wendy is a tweener, ideologically doctrinaire on the one hand and a wannabe hot youth movie on the other.

September 29, 2005 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Baroque gun-toting fantasy and an uneasy sound track by the 1960s Zombies make this the heavy teen self-destruct flick of the year.

September 28, 2005
Monsters and Critics

Audience Reviews for Dear Wendy

I was expecting a little more. I can't say that I was disappointed, but I thought that there could have been more to the plot. Some of the special effects work well with the movie, and play into its slightly dangerous charms. Something that's worth a look, I just wouldn't consider this an idie classic.
October 25, 2010
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

Jamie Bell, Michael Angarano, Allison Pill, Bill Pullman, Chris Owen, Mark Webber, Danso Gordon, Novella Nelson

DIRECTED BY: Thomas Vinterberg

When a young loner named Dick discovers a handgun, he finds himself strangely drawn to it despite his pacifist views. Soon he forms a secret club with other misfits in his town who collect and revere antique guns and call themselves the Dandies. But despite their firm belief in the most important Dandy rule of all - "never draw your weapons" - they eventually discover that some rules are meant to be broken.

One of the oddest but yet amusing movies I have seen. It all seems very silly. But it's also so different from any film I have ever seen. I felt like I was watching a Western. Especially in watching the ending. The only thing missing was some tumble weeds blowing by. Most of the acting was good. Love Jamie Bell. Thought Michael Angarano was quite funny and quirky. I loved that they used The Zombies as their soundtrack. Great stuff. This movie is interesting and one of a kind. Should be seen.
February 19, 2010
LWOODS04
♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥

Super Reviewer

This is not the film I was expecting from Vinterberg and Von Trier but it is as good as I'd hoped! It's visually stunning in places and very cool. Some of the cast let it down but on the whole this is a great film!
September 14, 2009
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Apart from a few moments of jarring reality - this whole film seems like one of the brief dream like sequences from some of Lars Von Trier's earlier films. The story is grounded in the mundanity of modern youth, but uses a contrived Western style backdrop to extract it's rites of passage plot and at times elements of shocking brutality are numbed by the histrionics employed in delivering them. The use of sets and choice to place the story in an old mining community, the Zombies heavy soundtrack and the use of solely modern-looking cars takes the film away from reality slightly placing it in a timeless environment by nature of conflicting periods. Centrally the characters dress and sense of honour as well as there insistence on using old fashioned guns is an interesting study in today's youths obsession with "retro" and also the contradiction of guns and pacifism is reminiscent of modern teenagers left wing crusades conflicting with their obsessive consumerism.

The supporting performances are solid, if a little too mannered, but Jamie Bell's protagonist is difficult to place - quite spiteful and too disaffected to consider the fatal consequences of his actions.

All in all this is an enjoyable film, with a none to0 subtle nor fresh, but always relevant message at the end that lacks the cold, bleak reality of some of Von Trier's and Vinterberg's earlier work. Still as a starting point for someone looking to get into the work of the aforementioned talents, this is a more accessible and light piece that won't leave you breath taken or thinking to much, but that's definitely worth a relaxed perusal.
July 22, 2009
matertenebraum

Super Reviewer

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