Wendy and Lucy (15)

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The Independent Culture

Or: it's a dog's life. Michelle Williams plays meek drifter Wendy, who's making her way up to Alaska in the vague hope of a job, her only company a goldenish retriever, Lucy.

When her car breaks down in nowheresville, Oregon, Wendy begins to realise just how lonesome the road can be. Williams, with pageboy haircut and a martyrishly sad face, is quite lovely as this lost soul, while writer-director Kelly Reichardt catches something poignant in the windblown spaces of the American north-west. Will Patton as a wiseacre mechanic and Walter Dalton as a kind-hearted security guard contribute excellent cameos. Not a great deal happens, but that's not to say my attention wandered from this quiet tale of woe for a second.