Need and limitation inform so much of Kelly Reichardt's new film that it's a shoo-in for the movie of the year -- if, that is, you're looking for a film that shows us current times in small-town America. It is also, and I am not kidding, the most wrenching love story of the year (maybe several). The subject: what happens when you cannot take care of the thing you most love.
I was among those movie-goers not particularly overjoyed with Ms Reichardt's earlier Old Joy. I found it minimal to the point of boring, and I cared only a little about the two guys at its center. Nothing seemed at stake in Old Joy except a friendship that was not much to begin with. This is not true of WENDY AND LUCY, in which an entire life, shaky at the start, soon seems to be heading off-course and downhill at an alarming rate -- even though the movie, taking its sweet time to detail the goings-on, still only adds up to only 80 minutes, including credits.
Oscilloscope Pictures (the interesting little company that recently gave us Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie) is releasing Wendy And Lucy this coming Wednesday, December 10, at NYC's Film Forum for a two-week run. One month later it will open in Los Angeles and in other markets the following week, so those of you don't reside in or near our coastal culture capitals may still have the chance to see it on the big screen. Eventually, I hope, we'll find it on DVD.