The entirety of Wendy and Lucy could easily have been reduced to a three-minute montage and placed in an epic story about the journey into and out of poverty. Thankfully, it wasn’t. Director Kelly Reichardt takes her time with the emotional tale of the homeless Wendy and her dog, Lucy, and the risk pays off. Michelle Williams utters barely any dialogue, yet still manages to give one of the best performances in recent years.
One of the most interesting elements of Wendy and Lucy is its rare ability to offer so little exposition without leaving the viewer lost and confused. We don’t know who Wendy is, or how she got where she is, or why she’s going where she’s going, yet it is impossible not to deeply care about her and Lucy. There no mystery to unravel, so the duration of the film can be spent in the present, experiencing the hard times Wendy has stumbled upon, instead of dwelling in the past, trying to prevent them.
Wendy and Lucy’s quiet presence is remarkably poignant and memorable, and definitely worth renting if you missed it last winter.