Director: Barbara Loden
Year Released: 1971
Sad soul Wanda (Barbara Loden), who says so little and can barely manage to lift her head up that she comes across as being mentally retarded, goes from one bad situation to another, winding up - for a large part of the movie - with a petty thief. Calling Loden's performance 'raw' is only getting it half right - the picture itself is kind-of lackadaisical and unrefined, sad and lacking in vibrancy (so fitting, too, that it was shot in the grim coal-mining regions of Pennsylvania just like The Deer Hunter a little later on). Normally this kind of female-abuse at the hands of despicable men doesn't do much for me, but I suspect - based on the early scenes between Wanda and her husband - that she's partly to blame for her own misery, and is the victim of poor decision-making and the lack of kindness from other human beings. Powerful, but like Bresson's Mouchette, not something I'd be eager to revisit any time soon.