Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Michelle Williams and the Ellipses of Wendy and Lucy

In the melancholy world of Wendy and Lucy, meaning is conveyed more through looks and gestures than words.

That’s key, given the plot turns on the relationship between down-on-her-luck Wendy, subtly portrayed by Michelle Williams, and Lucy, a lean and tan mutt with soulful brown eyes.

We can’t know the full story between the two, but their affection is palatable.

The simple narrative offers only hints at who Wendy is. Like the mysterious bandage she wears around her ankle, we don’t know what’s underneath it or how she got it, just as we don’t really know how Wendy got to this moment in her life, or where she’ll end up. Like life and the character, the bandage is complicated.

“It’s sort of like Wendy herself,” Williams says. “It’s the physical manifestation of something that’s never really revealed—like a question on top of a question.”

Williams, 28, prompts us to seek answers as she taps into the soul of Wendy and her wounds in a remarkable performance.

Read the rest at Awards Daily or here.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Doubt's Beautiful Ambiguity

At a recent SAG screening of Doubt, writer/director John Patrick Shanley said the film—based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning play—is about “the pain and experience of being alive, and that you can’t be certain and yet you have to live.” No doubt about it.

The story takes place in 1964 at Catholic school in the Bronx, where a nun grows suspicious that a charismatic priest has developed an inappropriate relationship with a student.

Beyond the plot machinations of his story, Shanley said the setting—which he experienced first-hand during his youth—was about a feeling he had, going back to that time, that the world of that Bronx Catholic school was disappearing. “A real impetus for writing the play was to celebrate and mourn—I had a moment of beautiful pain about this world,” he said.

Those of you who are unfamiliar with the source material should stop reading here if you want to be completely spoiler-free.

Read the rest at Awards Daily or here.