Saturday, 28 March 2009

Cinema: Wendy and Lucy

Caught Wendy and Lucy at the HL today. Really good but a somewhat depressing picture of modern poverty, together with a rather heart-breaking core.

Wendy is travelling from Indiana to Alaska where she hopes to find a job and begin a new life. Accompanying Wendy is her dog Lucy, pretty much Wendy's only friend in the world. However, when passing through Oregon, Wendy's plans come unstuck when first her car breaks down, and then Lucy goes missing.

The film is a rather low-key adaptation of what appears to be a short story. It takes place in only a few locations and includes only a handful of characters, principally Wendy and Lucy. But it brilliantly conveys the precariousness of Wendy's journey, in particular the threadbare finances upon which it's running. The hardness and disinterest of the world around Wendy is offset only by the small kindnesses of a few of the people that she meets, but reinforced by run-ins with several others (including a rather unforgiving Christian). It does a lot with relatively few scenes, quickly establishing Wendy and Lucy's bond and efficiently sketching an evocative picture of a life lived at the edge.

Overall a small gem, but a rather bitter one.

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