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Down-and-out in Oregon

Wendy and Lucy hits the right desperate note for today's tanking economy.

“Wendy and Lucy” was conceived long before the collapse of the financial system, when the Dow was at 11,000 and people were still speculating idly about when, or even if, the housing bubble would pop.

But some who watch it now may see in its unsentimental portrayal of poverty, and its caustic depiction of American indifference to the economic hardships of others, a reflection of their thoughts and fears. As Ben Kenigsberg writes in this week’s TimeOut, it’s a film that emerges from the neorealist tradition but with a distinctly Bush-era feel. For anyone interested in seeing this powerful movie, it’s running until February 5th at Music Box Theatre.

I have to say, though, that even with the 4 1/2 hour “Che” in theaters, we’ve yet to see a movie that simmers with the kind of working class anger–and its invariable companion, sentimentality–you see in some Depression-era Warner Bros. films.