Wendy is living out of her car in the Pacific Northwest along with her dog Lucy and gradually making her way to Alaska. She hangs out with some hoboes by a bonfire who give her tips. A security guard wakes her up in her car and tells her she has to move it, but it won’t start.
Why Wendy might be hard to identify with: She’s a homeless drifter and we’re not used to identifying with those. It seems selfish for her to have a dog she can’t really take care of, as she’ll realize in the closing moments of the movie.
- She fairly aimless but she does have a goal in mind: Alaska. One of her fellow hoboes knows all about Alaska and shares some fun stories about working on docks there.
- She carefully traces her route so far on a map. She keeps careful track of all her expenses, showing us the details of her life. We always like physicalization.
- Her sweatshirt and shorts and sneakers feel very normal. She doesn’t look like Michele Williams.
- She’s living in her car, hanging out with scary tattooed hoboes in railyards at night.
- She gets hassled by cops who wake her up in her car. “You can’t sleep here, ma’am.” Then her car won’t start.
- Not much reason. She’s not very resourceful. When her car won’t start, she tries looking under the hood, but clearly has no idea what she’s looking at.
- She’s certainly loving to her dog, which makes us root for her somewhat. (Though on one level, we’re just rooting for her to find a better home for that dog. But when she does so at the end, it’s devastating.)