I really liked this film. Though I doubt I’d even know about it if it wasn’t for Michelle Williams being in it, whom I simply love, and if you’ve not seen “Brokeback Mountain” or “The Station Agent“ – I’d urge you to go rent them.
(…and yeah all those “Dawson’s Creek” shows…)
“Wendy and Lucy“ is a calm film, in fact, dare I say, on the surface, not much seemingly happens… Its so incredibly subtle, but if you look a little closer you’ll notice its bursting with life, as life includes: humanity, desperation, fears, dreams, aspirations…topped-off with a dash of hope and a little more bleakness just in case you thought they were going to ‘sugar coat it’, they don’t…
But with that said, this could have easily been something a lot more macabre.
(warning – spoiler)
Wendy is literally down to her last cash reserves and whilst trying to figure out how to make it to, her desired goal, Alaska, on her limited funds, she does a little shop-lifting.
Its just a couple of tins of dog food, the store Manager could easily have let her off with a warning, but, urged on by an over-zealous young store clerk colleague who insists she is arrested.
It all goes horribly wrong from there on in, as she consequently loses Lucy and spends the remainder of the film trying to find her. Plus, to top it off, she has a hefty fine to pay for the arrest (more money spent) and her car breaks down (way too much money, what to do?) Hence sleeping rough in the woods and terrifyingly, putting herself in a totally vulnerable position.
But its not all bad, and there is compassion. In the unlikely form of an elderly Security Guard who offers Wendy a hand of friendship and tries his best to help, he offers her what he can: his advice, some local directions even his minutes on his phone and a little – very little – bit of spare cash. I think the fact that the amount is so very little, that makes it all the more poignant, as its all he can spare.
One subtlety that, even now, I’m not sure about (as in, am I perhaps reading too much into this?) A few people appear, silently, drifting passed in the background, on those chunky, electric wheelchairs, I just wonder if there is a comment being made?
– if you know or have an opinon let me know…
Wendy and Lucy omits a lot of information and only shows us a small portion (just a few days) of their life. But within that time it challenges us to think about how we view other people, to think about the hardships in life, of living without a safety net, and perhaps to be less judgemental of others, even if they look a little different and maybe even be a little more compassionate to passing strangers.