Small film, big punch

The coming onslaught of year-end blockbusters makes it easy to overlook a small treasure like Wendy and Lucy (in theaters 12/10). But if the film’s intentions are more modest than, say, Australia’s, its heart is as big as the continent itself.

Directed by Kelly Reichardt, the film follows a young woman named Wendy (Michelle Williams) and her dog, Lucy, as they take a cross-country road trip to Alaska: Wendy hopes to find work at a fish cannery, but she gets stuck in Oregon instead. What follows is a snowballing of financial woes that threatens to derail the trip, split up animal and owner, and weaken Wendy’s calm, independent resolve. Reichardt’s direction is subtle and sure-footed, and Williams’s understated performance is surprisingly moving — it’s her best to date.

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. Small film, big punch