Dear Wendy (2005)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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 … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By: ,
Written By: Lars von Trier
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 21, 2006
Wellspring Media - Official Site

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as Dick Dandelion

as Krugsby

as Sebastian

as Susan

as Huey

as Clarabelle

as Dick's Dad

as Young Policeman

as Mr. Saloman

as Costumer Thomas
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Critic Reviews for Dear Wendy

All Critics (73) | Top Critics (21)

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?

Full Review… | February 24, 2006
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 6, 2006
Seattle Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 6, 2005
Washington Post
Top 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.

Full Review… | September 27, 2005
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | September 24, 2005
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | November 19, 2013
Film Comment Magazine

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.

Cynthia S.

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.


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.

Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

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