Directed by Thomas Vinterberg, starring Jamie Bell, Bill Pullman, Michael Angarano, Danso Gordon, Novella Nelson, Chris Owen, Alison Pill and Mark Webber.
'Dear Wendy' tells the story of a group of young pacifists, with guns. Enough said.
Dick (Bell) is a young loner and pacifist living in the mining town of Estherslope, somewhere in Southeast America. One day he gets stuck with what he believes is a toy gun. For some reason he feels drawn towards the gun, as if it is trying to tell him something and he begins carrying it on him, never with the intention of using it.
Stevie (Webber) is a gun expert, and pacifist, who tells Dick that it's no toy gun he has but a 6.35mm six-shooter. The two develop their interest in guns and become the founders of a secret club called The Dandies.
Wanting to share the feeling that guns can give – confidence, control and the ability to stare people in the eye – while secretly carrying them around, Dick and Stevie round up the other misfits in the town to join in their club.
The Dandies meet in one of the lower levels of the mine, where they make their own temple. There they listen to the cult group The Zombies and learn about every detail of weapons (exit and entry wounds, velocity, matching a type of gun with a kind of person). They each own a weapon, or "partner" as they like to call them, and each develops a unique shooting style down in the mines. But the number one rule of the club is to never draw their weapons outside the mine, because once they awake, they kill.
Dick is leader of the club, his partner is Wendy, to whom he addresses letters in a voice-over throughout the film. His special shooting style is from the hip and blindfolded. Stevie has long range accuracy with his partner Bad Steel. Susan (Pill) owns two guns, Lee and Grant, and she excels in ricochet shooting. When Huey (Owen) has his gun Lyndon is his hands, he forgets about his disability, his broken legs that have been his misfortune since birth. Freddie (Angarano) holds Woman in his hands and nothing can stop him. The final member of The Dandies is Sebastian (Gordon), he is the misfit in the club of misfits – mainly because he has already killed someone. And it's because of this final member that The Dandies find themselves in their first and last showdown.
'Dear Wendy' offers something very unusual. It's quirky in its telling and not afraid of using different ways to help tell the story, namely the most simplistic of diagram graphics and Dick's voiceover. Overall this makes it refreshing and entertaining, though the result of the story is somewhat obvious.
Jamie Bell who plays the lead proved his acting ability in his award-winning role in 'Billy Elliot', but all of the acting here is to the same great standard and all the characters are endearing. Maybe it's because they are losers, but their smooth progression into self-confident Dandies somehow makes you feel as if they deserve to be beholders of power.
'Dear Wendy' is set in an unknown place at an unknown time, this could ultimately mean that it left reality behind in its aim to get a good story from one crazy idea. Watching it with that point of view makes it sheer enjoyment and intriguing.
Striking a beautiful balance; outside the range of normal and not quite in the league of niche, 'Dear Wendy' will appeal to a gamut of tastes.