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Wendy and Lucy (2008)Wendy and Lucy (2008)

Independent film maker Kelly Reichardt takes a tough but tender look at the people in America who are one sickness or accident away from personal catastrophe. Wendy and her dog Lucy are stranded in a depressing mill town in Oregon after leaving Indiana for a better life in Alaska. She's frugal and resourceful, recording her expenditures in a spiral notebook. She sleeps in her car, collects cans and bottles for spare change, and freshens up in gas station bathrooms. She observes to a security guard who's befriended her that you can't get a job without an address or phone, to which he replies: "Heck, you can't get an address without an address, or a job without a job. It's all rigged." Minor infractions with rule-keeping bureaucrats reap major consequences. When Wendy's twenty-year old car needs a $2,000 repair, we find her in the last scene hopping a train. But for where? She's a person like many people in America who have no past and no future, and who are going nowhere, both literally and figuratively. Even Lucy's fate is not what we expected.

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