*Posted December 31, 2008*
Because my pool of Best Actress candidates is extremely thin, I veered off path to watch this quiet indie about Michelle Williams (I will refer to her forever as Jen Lindley) and her dog because everyone raved about this movie and her performance. It's the story of Wendy, a girl traveling from Indiana to Alaska for the prospect of work. But once her car breaks down and she finds herself low on money, things go from bad to much worse. To me, it's much more interesting when actors and actresses go big (Plainview, Joker) than when they stay reserved and restrained. With the exception of getting a little hysterical in the bathroom, Jen Lindley pretty much keeps her ever increasing problems bottled in. The very brief explosions of steam in a movie with no soundtrack are appreciated, because the constant cuts of trains rolling by gets pretty depressing after a while. The ending, where she finally gets her dog back only to leave because she can't afford to take care of her is heartbreaking (and much sadder than Marley), but it's hard for me to get excited about these little indies. Oh, and I get the feeling that mechanic Will Patton screwed her over with the car, that's just a hunch. Jen Lindley wil get my vote for Best Actress only because I haven't seen anything yet that can top it (I refuse to watch Meryl 'phony baloney' Streep). If you're my sister and you like little movies, you'll enjoy this, but I rate my movies, in part, on whether or not I want to buy/rent/watch on tv/never watch again. Sadly, I never want to see this again.