Wendy and Lucy

USA 2008, Feature film, 80' | Director, Screenplay, Editor Kelly Reichhardt | DoP Sam Levy | Sound Javier Bennassar | Music Will Oldham | Cast Michelle Williams, Will Patton, John Robinson, Will Oldham

The young and jobless Wendy is on the road in her beat-up old car looking for work up in the Frozen North. Her only companion: is Lucy, her dog. They live on the cheap and sleep in the car. Out in the middle of nowhere, a small town in Oregon, the car breaks down and Wendy doesn't have enough money to get it repaired. She's now homeless. And after she is caught shoplifting and has to spend a few hours in prison, her four-legged friend goes missing.

Kelly Reichardt shows just how quickly social decline can strike without money and without somewhere to live. Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain) is hugely impressive in the lead role, in a road movie in which she doesn't even drive most of the time. Above all, it's her subtle gestures and mysterious presence that impress. We as viewers do not find out what her old life consisted of. Foregrounded here is the desire for change and new departures. Wendy and Lucy is based on the story Train Choir by Jon Raymond.

The world premiere took place at the Cannes Film Festival 2008 in the Un Certain Regard category. Writing in The New York Times, Manohla Dargis reckons that Kelly Reichardt is one of the most interesting young filmmakers around and that “with uninflected realism [and] an attentive camera […] Wendy and Lucy is political to the bone but without any of the usual grandstanding”.


KELLY REICHARDT studied at Massachusetts College of Art and at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She made her first Super 8 music videos for MTV. In 1988, she moved to New York and worked there with Todd Haynes and Hal Hartley among others. 1993, she shot her first full-length film River of Grass. With Old Joy (2005), she was to land a festival success. Ms Reichardt also teaches film at New York University.

Kelly Reichhardt
Feature Film
Feature Film Competition