Wendy and Lucy 

In a performance of such startling emotional clarity and directness that it takes your breath away, Michelle Williams plays Wendy, a young woman traveling from Indiana to Alaska with her only true friend, a terrier-retriever mix named Lucy. When bad things happen to Wendy — her car breaks down in a small Oregon town; she gets arrested for attempting to steal a can of dog food — it feels like the weight of the world has come crashing down on her shoulders. The second film from regional specialist Kelly Reichardt (Old Joy), Wendy and Lucy merits comparison with the works of France’s Robert Bresson and Belgium’s Dardennes Brothers. As a rigorous, artfully unadorned study of the depths to which America’s disenfranchised middle class has sunk in today’s Darwinian economic climate, Reichardt’s humanist masterpiece couldn’t be more timely or heart-wrenching. Cedar Lee Theatre. HHHH

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