Old Joy director Kelly Reichardt crafts this intimate tale of Wendy, an alienated Indiana woman who packs up her car and sets her sights on Alaska, but finds herself stranded in a small Oregon town with no money and only her faithful dog, Lucy, to keep her company. When Wendy realizes that there's nothing keeping her in her home state of Indiana, she makes the decision to relocate to Alaska and seek out work at the local fish cannery. With her four-legged friend Lucy in the passenger seat next to her, Wendy stops off to get some rest in a small Oregon town. The following morning, when Wendy attempts to start her car, the engine fails to respond. But this is only the first in a series of snowballing events, because as Wendy waits for the local garage to open she heads to the supermarket to pick up some dog food for Lucy. Opting to shoplift the puppy chow since she doesn't have much cash to speak of, Wendy subsequently finds herself in the local jail thanks to an overzealous employee. By the time Wendy pays her fine and gets back to the supermarket, Lucy is gone. Unfortunately the dog pound doesn't open until the following morning, and after receiving some help from a kindly local, Wendy gets some particularly bad news about her car.
by Jason Buchanan synopsis