Director: Kelly Reichardt
Year Released: 2008
Free spirit Wendy (Michelle Williams) - with puppy pal (Lucy, as herself) - is on her way to Ketchikan, Alaska to find work in a cannery, but her car dies (literally) in Oregon, she's low on cash and hopelessly, unabashedly stupid. I'm sorry, but I've got my Mean Face on here: I'm expected to care about a young lady that does not prep for her trip ahead of time (meal bars, extra supplies), apparently can't afford dog food (although the teenage store clerk is a jerk, stealing is wrong), knew ahead of time her car wasn't in tip-top shape (cross-country trips call for service station inspection) and does not belong to AAA, thinks that spreading out her clothes in the woods (!) will allow her dog to "smell" them and return to her and then proceeds to sleep in the damned woods where she's greeted by a rambling nut (indie mainstay Larry Fessenden) and on and on. I agree with Reichardt's thinly-veiled disappointment with the way society works, and she does grant Wendy one helping hand - a Walgreens security guard that ends up giving her a paltry $6 and a 'good luck' (wait, Walgreens in Oregon needs a security guard?). 'Hell is other people' was the message of a certain play a certain walleyed genius once wrote (in another time, another place), and while that may be the case, the relationship between people and their pets is not a proper substitution.