Ordinarily, a Best Picture Oscar nominee would seem to be a perfect candidate to race out and rent. Of course, 2009's ridiculous slate of nominated movies was even more uninspired than usual. And The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was actually one of the better entries in that sweepstakes. Intermittently intriguing though the story may be, its epic running time and lugubrious pacing still warrants the designation created by another writer (wish it had been me): Benjamin Snooze Button.
Instead, how about racing out to rent Wendy and Lucy, director Kelly Reichardt's keenly observed drama about an itinerant woman (Michelle Williams) and the dog who is her only companion. It's not the kind of movie where a whole lot "happens" in pure plot terms, but a terrific central performance energizes this look at the small indignities that beset people on society's fringes.