Wendy and Lucy

User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 57
  2. Negative: 17 out of 57

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User Reviews

  1. JayH
    May 1, 2009
    7
    Beautifully and very convincingly acted by Michelle Williams, but what a depressing and slow moving movie. I never lost interest but it did drag in parts. Believable. Sincere direction and the simplicity of the film makes it work.
  2. TransporterM.
    Aug 3, 2009
    8
    This is just the kind of film that gives viewer ratings a bad name. I suspect that those who think this film was boring would also think that De Sica's neo-realist masterpiece Umberto D - which it closely resembles - is also boring. It doesn't give critics a bad name to recognize that there are some movies that just can't serve two masters, as many try to do, and which are This is just the kind of film that gives viewer ratings a bad name. I suspect that those who think this film was boring would also think that De Sica's neo-realist masterpiece Umberto D - which it closely resembles - is also boring. It doesn't give critics a bad name to recognize that there are some movies that just can't serve two masters, as many try to do, and which are more like caviar than pizza. For the pizza-only lovers who missed the point of this movie, it is a "tranche de vie" - a slice of life - that poignantly illuminates the triumphs, tragedies, debasement, and, especially, nobility of everyday life. Expand
  3. JonathanF.
    Jan 24, 2009
    10
    a moving tale of a broke woman trapped outside a society that won't let her in. probably too slow for some, the movie has a quiet pace fitting to the life wendy desperately tries to make new again. as she fights her way to alaska where a job awaits, her car breaks down and she loses her dog, but as depressive the material is the film sits on michelle williams' quietly moving, a moving tale of a broke woman trapped outside a society that won't let her in. probably too slow for some, the movie has a quiet pace fitting to the life wendy desperately tries to make new again. as she fights her way to alaska where a job awaits, her car breaks down and she loses her dog, but as depressive the material is the film sits on michelle williams' quietly moving, and captivating performance. it's the most unrewarded, underappreciated performance of the year. Collapse
  4. AdamC
    Mar 1, 2009
    9
    Great slice of life film that shows what the real world is like. This is the type of movie that means more after a second viewing. I look forward to catching this film again when it makes its way to Blu Ray or DVD. Michelle Williams is absolutely absorbing and believable as Wendy in this decidedly realistic film.
  5. KR
    Mar 25, 2009
    10
    One of the best movies of 2008. A quiet, moving masterpiece that packs a powerful punch. If only all movies were so simple and spare. It's like a great Raymond Carver or Ernest Hemingway short story in its economy and simplicity. Not much seems to happen. And yet by the end, I felt deeply connected to these characters and really cared about what happened to them. Williams should have One of the best movies of 2008. A quiet, moving masterpiece that packs a powerful punch. If only all movies were so simple and spare. It's like a great Raymond Carver or Ernest Hemingway short story in its economy and simplicity. Not much seems to happen. And yet by the end, I felt deeply connected to these characters and really cared about what happened to them. Williams should have been nominated for an Oscar for her understated, beautiful performance as a quiet, strong woman living on the edge of society. And her love for her dog feels more real and powerful than many made up movie romances on screen. A real gem! Expand
  6. JamesC.
    Dec 14, 2008
    10
    "Wendy and Lucy" is the American answer to the Dardenne brothers' "Rosetta" (1999). Kelly Reichardt has fashioned together a quiet 80-minute masterpiece of cinematic naturalism, unadorned by excess words or music or plot points. Reichardt lends not only an earnest, authentic voice but also a patient ear to the mass of common citizens quietly suffering under the weight of a hundred "Wendy and Lucy" is the American answer to the Dardenne brothers' "Rosetta" (1999). Kelly Reichardt has fashioned together a quiet 80-minute masterpiece of cinematic naturalism, unadorned by excess words or music or plot points. Reichardt lends not only an earnest, authentic voice but also a patient ear to the mass of common citizens quietly suffering under the weight of a hundred tiny daily struggles, forever on the fringes of the American middle class -- with the dream (or what's left of it) never quiet within their reach. And as for Michelle Williams....well, she is just exquisite, heartbreaking perfection. Expand
  7. RogerM.
    Dec 20, 2008
    8
    A young person's movie because most grown ups are too afraid to do what Wendy is, and a movie about the nature of modern America, all rolled into one. Low key, boring to the simple minded and ADHD, beautifully acted by Michelle Williams, with help from a dog and Walter Dalton.
  8. DarrylD.
    Jan 19, 2009
    10
    The pace of this film is as tentative as Wendy's situation. Flawless in its pitch-perfect sense of the place she is, the temperment of the people, and the wideness of the landscape. Kelly knows the area and has it's pulse down. Wendy's fears will grab the viewer, and for the too brief time this film is on, you are unquestionably with her, about her situation, and involved.
  9. anniem
    Feb 28, 2009
    10
    Agonizing for anyone with half a heart, and paying the slightest attention; all too true to life. Michelle Williams owns it.
  10. corndogJ
    Mar 11, 2009
    8
    I'll probably never forget Wendy (or Lucy), but John Anderson's reference to Wendy's "anonymity" rings true for me. There's a hole in the middle of her, a flat affect that needs some backstory on where it came from. One phone call to her sister and brother-in-law is painful, but insufficient as objective correlative. On the other hand, please do see this movie and the I'll probably never forget Wendy (or Lucy), but John Anderson's reference to Wendy's "anonymity" rings true for me. There's a hole in the middle of her, a flat affect that needs some backstory on where it came from. One phone call to her sister and brother-in-law is painful, but insufficient as objective correlative. On the other hand, please do see this movie and the glimpse we get of this character, this America. Expand
  11. JohnnyH
    Apr 15, 2009
    10
    Poor Wendy. Poor Lucy. Poor us! Poor those who didn't see the value in this piece. Simple, honest, yet full of life; adventure, love, loss, kindness, and finally sacrifice. Full of aspiration and disappointment, dreams and stark cold reality. As much as I'd love to, I don't think I could bare to watch this one again. Where's my doggy? There you are! Such a good girl! Poor Wendy. Poor Lucy. Poor us! Poor those who didn't see the value in this piece. Simple, honest, yet full of life; adventure, love, loss, kindness, and finally sacrifice. Full of aspiration and disappointment, dreams and stark cold reality. As much as I'd love to, I don't think I could bare to watch this one again. Where's my doggy? There you are! Such a good girl! ...Yes, I love you too, baby girl! Expand
  12. DennisL.
    Dec 11, 2008
    10
    Actress Williams is so compelling, without being overly dramatic. A short and touching story, low-key, quiet, sad; you know something is deeply troubling Wendy; you see why her dog is important to her. It feels real, and that's always difficult for a movie to convey. Director Reichardt does a great job here.
  13. May 26, 2015
    8
    Michelle Williams is one of the photogenic face in Hollywood and also like her performance. But won the negative impression of mine over portrayal of her character in 'Take This Waltz'. Doing a villainous role may get appreciation, for example, the Joker from Batman, but doing things that affect morality is really hurt if you really like that person. After that movie, I was not into herMichelle Williams is one of the photogenic face in Hollywood and also like her performance. But won the negative impression of mine over portrayal of her character in 'Take This Waltz'. Doing a villainous role may get appreciation, for example, the Joker from Batman, but doing things that affect morality is really hurt if you really like that person. After that movie, I was not into her films and she also did not do any major roles. Accidentally I came to know about this movie, which is in fact a bit older movie than what I was talking about and after knowing more about it, I got interested and I could not resist from watching. Frankly, this movie filled the gap created by the earlier crack.

    This movie falls in the line of 'Open Road' and 'Into the Wild' when it comes to rendering the main character. If you have already seen those two, or any other similar flicks, then you would find this movie was very much intense. Wendy, a woman in her late 20s with her dog Lucy are on an expedition to the other end of the country seeking a solution to the difficulty for having a normal life and job. One must have to keep walking on either of way to see a light at the end of the tunnel and that's what Wendy does here.

    "You can't get an address without an address.
    You can't get a job without a job."

    This movie commence middle of her destination, where she's stranded after her car broke-down. It won't say anything about the earlier account of Wendy or what might happen after the timeline of this film. All the 80 minute of narration takes place in the Oregon city which is just a glimpse of her life for us as a movie, but a major impact thenceforth in her life. The struggle during fixing her car is what depicted simply, but beautifully on the screen.

    The story is about the man and his pet's relationship, that's what the meaning of the title, like 'Marley & Me'. Also being a young woman, society is no safe for roaming freely all the places alone at all the time. Plain drama, it was, but something meaningful story, a lesson to learn, a character to study and a life to experience. A kind of journey of self- discovery during understanding how the civil system works. Thematically there's nothing wrong, but 'setting an example' wise, this movie is not safer for other than the adults. Among the best movies of the year it was released. Impossible not to recommend others, especially by me to you perhaps.

    8/10
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Awards & Rankings

Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. Improbably, it's one of the most affecting films of the year, which once again demonstrates that all you need to make a good movie is talent.
  2. Wendy and Lucy is like "Lassie Come Home" directed by Antonioni. What's piercing about it, and also disturbing, is that Reichardt views the renunciation of society with something close to righteous purity -- as a lefty romantic dream.
  3. 70
    Unless you're an antsy movie-goer or have a cold heart, by the end of Wendy and Lucy, you'll be engrossed, hoping for the best possible outcome.