Wendy and Lucy

2008

Wendy and Lucy

Critics Consensus

Michelle Williams gives a heartbreaking performance in Wendy and Lucy, a timely portrait of loneliness and struggle.

85%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 182

67%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,161
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Wendy and Lucy Photos

Movie Info

Old Joy director Kelly Reichardt crafts this intimate tale of Wendy, an alienated Indiana woman who packs up her car and sets her sights on Alaska, but finds herself stranded in a small Oregon town with no money and only her faithful dog, Lucy, to keep her company. When Wendy realizes that there's nothing keeping her in her home state of Indiana, she makes the decision to relocate to Alaska and seek out work at the local fish cannery. With her four-legged friend Lucy in the passenger seat next to her, Wendy stops off to get some rest in a small Oregon town. The following morning, when Wendy attempts to start her car, the engine fails to respond. But this is only the first in a series of snowballing events, because as Wendy waits for the local garage to open she heads to the supermarket to pick up some dog food for Lucy. Opting to shoplift the puppy chow since she doesn't have much cash to speak of, Wendy subsequently finds herself in the local jail thanks to an overzealous employee. By the time Wendy pays her fine and gets back to the supermarket, Lucy is gone. Unfortunately the dog pound doesn't open until the following morning, and after receiving some help from a kindly local, Wendy gets some particularly bad news about her car. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Cast

Walter Dalton
as Security Guard
Will Patton
as Mechanic
Larry Fessenden
as Man in Park
Lucy the Dog
as Herself
David Koppell
as Kid by Fire
Max Clement
as Kid by Fire
Sid Shanley
as Kid by Fire
Dave Hubner
as Kid by Fire
Roger Faires
as recycler in wheelchair
Boggs Johnson
as recycling man
Tanya Smith
as grocery checker
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Critic Reviews for Wendy and Lucy

All Critics (182) | Top Critics (46)

  • In happy sum, Reichardt is one more of the current American directors, most of them still young, who are endowing our film world with pleasure and hope.

    Mar 27, 2015 | Full Review…
  • The climax is a heartbreaker, and in its haunting finale the movie recalls no less than Mervyn LeRoy's Depression-era classic I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang.

    Mar 27, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Evanescent and intangible, it dissolves into the air, leaving something tragic and mysterious behind.

    Jul 7, 2010 | Full Review…
  • Wendy and Lucy is too laconic to be mistaken for a social drama, but it's set in a land whose harshness seems to a require a stronger critique than Reichardt's vignettes.

    Jul 7, 2010 | Full Review…

    Mark Jenkins

    NPR
    Top Critic
  • Kelly Reichardt's devastating little film has attracted a lot of admiration since its debut at Cannes last year, partly because of its timeliness.

    Mar 27, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Williams and Patton and the folks of this corner of Oregon serve up a slice of "indie" that, if it doesn't reach the level of "inspires," at least feels timely and true.

    Mar 18, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Wendy and Lucy

  • Jun 01, 2014
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Dec 31, 2012
    In my opinion, this is the best that we have seen of Michelle Williams on screen. Reichardt brings out genuine emotion in a very touching story of a woman on the brink of survival. Unfortunate circumstances put her on the street and make her reliant on the good will (or lack thereof) of a small town in Oregon.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 10, 2012
    Wendy is a small town girl who packed up her life in a tiny beaten up car to make her way to Alaska to find a job with her dog Lucy. On the way she stops off in a small Oregon town the get some sleep and finds that her car wont start in the morning. An unfortunate amount of bad luck makes it's way into Wendy's life. The dog food has run out and with not much money on hand Wendy takes a can of dog food from the grocery store only to get caught by an adolescent employee and ends up in jail. By the time Wendy gets back to the store Lucy is missing and Wendy's search for her loyal companion begins. Wendy and Lucy is a slow paced drama. It took me two times to sit down and actually start watching the film. Being a fan of Michelle Williams was the only reason why I wanted to watch it, otherwise I would have passed it up. It's not your typical loving pet story, happy ending everything is perfect movie, but thats what makes it so great. It's a real story, with real feeling and misfortune, real life.
    Alyssa M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 25, 2011
    Looking at the rating of the movie, it seems that (not surprisingly) I failed to comprehend the movie. Except for the protagonists and less than one handful of scenes, there absolutely was nothing that pleased me. I felt as if Lucy's mystery would land me into an interesting slot (agreed, my fault; but then waiting with nothing in hand, I thought this as hell might be it), but having seen it now, I'm blank as to what I was supposed to look forward to in the story. What were the makers expecting me to expect in Wendy's fateful (!!!) road trip? Guess this one is for the brilliants. And I'd be more than pleased to leave it to them. Those looking for entertainment (as per my exceptionally exceptional definition, of course), please be kind enough to browse the rest of the boundless sections of movies available.
    familiar s Super Reviewer

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