Release dateMay 22, 2008 (2008-05-22) (Cannes Film Festival)
December 10, 2008 (2008-12-10) (United States) Based onTrain Choir
by Jon Raymond WriterJonathan Raymond, Jonathan Raymond (story), Kelly Reichardt ScreenplayKelly Reichardt, Jonathan Raymond CastMichelle Williams (Wendy), Will Patton (Mechanic), Will Oldham (Icky), John Robinson (Andy) Similar movies2012, Independence Day, 9, The Grey, Cloverfield, The Tin Drum
TaglineOn the long road, friendship is everything.
Wendy and Lucy is a 2008 American drama film directed by Kelly Reichardt. Reichardt and Jon Raymond adapted the screenplay from his short story Train Choir. The film stars Michelle Williams and Will Patton. It had its world premiere at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and was screened at several additional film festivals before receiving a limited theatrical release in the United States on December 10, 2008. In 2017, the film was named the twentieth-first "Best Film of the 21st Century So Far" by The New York Times.
A young woman, Wendy Carroll, is travelling to Alaska with her dog Lucy, where she hopes to find work at a cannery. They become stranded in Oregon when their car breaks down, and she lacks the funds to repair it. At a supermarket, she leaves Lucy outside while she attempts to shoplift dog food. She is apprehended and Lucy disappears. After she is released from police custody, she discovers Lucy is missing and searches for her in vain. She eventually discovers that Lucy was taken to a dog pound and rehomed. Wendy goes to the home where Lucy now lives and decides she is happier there. She gets on a train bound north.
Michelle Williams as Wendy Carroll
Will Patton as Mechanic
Walter Dalton as Security guard
Will Oldham as Icky
John Robinson as Andy Mooney
Deirdre O'Connell (voice) as Deb
Lucy as herself
Larry Fessenden as Man in park
In its opening weekend, Wendy and Lucy grossed $18,218 in 2 theaters in the United States, ranking #54 at the box office. By the end of its run, Wendy and Lucy grossed $865,695 domestically and $326,960 internationally for a worldwide total of $1,192,655.
The film has received generally positive reviews from critics. Film review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes classified the film as "fresh" with a 85% approval rating among 178 critics, with a rating average of 7.4 out of 10. The film won both Best Picture and Best Actress at the 12th Toronto Film Critics Association Awards. Wendy and Lucy was placed at 87 on Slant Magazine's best films of the 2000s.
Top ten lists
The film appeared on many critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2008, including those of the Chicago Reader, New York Post, Newsweek, The Austin Chronicle, LA Weekly, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, The Oregonian, Slate, The Village Voice, and The Christian Science Monitor.