Jamie Bell, Bill Pullman, Michael Angarano, Danso Gordon, Chris Owen, Alison Pill, Mark Webber and Novella Nelson

Thomas Vinterberg

Running Time:
105 mins

"Wake up Badsteel"

Dick (Bell) had never really fitted in and struggled to find his place in the small mining town. When he gets a job working at the local store, he meets Stevie (Webber) who tells him that the toy gun he brought for his friend's birthday is actually real. From then on the pair become firm friends and start to study their own guns and the history behind them. Filled with a newfound confidence, the Dick and Stevie decide to introduce their fascination to fellow losers Huey (Owen), Susan (Pill) and Freddie (Angarano) and form a secret society of pacifist gun lovers called 'The Dandies'.

A film about honour, friendship and guns might sound like a promotion for that most lethal of weapons but when you discover that the film is written by Lars von Trier, you know you are in for something completely different.

Famed for his performance driven drama that are never afraid to shy away from controversy, his script for 'Dear Wendy' is controversial but also probably his most accessible. Set in a nameless mining town, the film approaches the topic of guns, not from a violent point of view but from a personal one, it is the connection between man and weapon that is the main emphasis of the movie.

Classing their guns as 'Partners', the 'Dandies' are pacifist gun lovers who study everything about their weapons, the injuries they can cause and how to fire them with pinpoint accuracy. The film also explores the confidence that their partners bring to them, as they carry them constantly but swear never to show them in public. Each of them has also given names to their partners. Susan's guns are called 'Grant' and 'Lee', Huey's is called 'Lyndon', Stevie's 'Badsteel', Freddie's 'Woman' and Dick's partner is called 'Wendy'. They become part of each other, an extension of their being and the motivation for their lives. Each of them changes completely, becoming confident, skilled and they feel like they belong to something for the first time in their lives.

It is the sense of belonging and camaraderie that is at the core of the movie. The fact that a gun can change someone from a social outcast, with no confidence or friends into someone with a purpose and a sense of code that is fascinating. In essence, the gun gives the group a sense of purpose, something that has been lacking from the current generation as they just let life pass them by. Lars von Trier sees this not as a pro-gun movie but as a statement for the lack of authority figures or things for the young to respect in the world today. The Dandies respect and fear their partners, making them the driving forces in their lives.

Bringing this to life is a group of young performers that breathe life into their characters. Jamie Bell continues to build a career after making such a big impact in 'Billy Elliot'. As Dick, the leader of the Dandies, it is his narrative, a letter to his partner, which drives the film and explains the reasoning behind it. Chris Owen as Huey, Alison Pill as Susan, Mark Webber as Stevie and Michael Angarano as Freddie are the rest of the Dandies and they show a maturity far beyond their years. Danso Gordon is also good as the new Dandy Sebastian who completely changes the dynamic of the group and subsequently leads them to their downfall.

'Dear Wendy' is a fascinating film with performances that bring the story to life. This is not a movie about that promotes guns, it is the complete opposite as the characters respect their weapons as pacifists. It is a story about young people finding a reason, some motivation to do something that will give them a purpose in life because of this symbol of authority and fear. The final is captivating and the performances are fantastic, making the movie impossible to take your eyes off.


Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1 and dts soundtracks, the movie is presented extremely well.


Audio Commentary by director Thomas Vinterberg & cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle
The director and his cameraman provide a chatty track that offers an insight into the making the movie. They talk about bringing Lars von Trier's script to life, the characters and the look of the film. They reveal more about how the film was shot and how the style of the movie was similar to von Trier's form of filmmaking.

9 Letters
Stars Jamie Bell, Mark Webber, Alison Pill, Danso Gordon, Michael Angarano, Chris Owen and three from director Thomas Vinterberg write letter to Wendy about the making of the movie. The director and actors read their letters as they are accompanied by footage from the movie.

Letters to Dear Wendy (25.01 mins)
Director Thomas Vinterberg, writer Lars von Trier, art director Jette Lehmann and stars Jamie Bell, Mark Webber, Alison Pill, Danso Gordon, Michael Angarano, Chris Owen and Bill Pullman talk about the making of 'Dear Wendy'. The cast and crew talk about the shoot in Denmark, where they had to create an American mining town and Electric Square. We see the actors getting into character during the rehearsals and their preparations for using their 'partners' at the shooting range. The director and writer also talk about the themes of the film and the lack of morale.

The Director and Screenwriter (16.50 mins)
An interview with director Thomas Vinterberg and screenwriter Lars von Trier as they talk about bringing 'Dear Wendy' to the screen. The pair talks about the changes to the script, the fascination with firearms, rituals and fetishes, the research and what they felt like actually firing a gun.

Watch the UK-US teaser, UK-US theatrical, theatrical and TV spot trailers for 'Dear Wendy'

Deleted Scenes (16.41 mins)
Entitled 'Guess the gun', 'Sebastian's Baptism', 'Second Parade', 'Marshall Walker' and 'Original ending', these deleted or alternate have optional commentary by director Thomas Vinterberg and editor Mikkel E.G. Nielsen.

Poster Artwork
View the many different posters designed to promote the movie


The DVD package for 'Dear Wendy' is very good for a single disc presentation. Fans of Lars von Trier will be very pleased to see the acclaimed writer/director's input and see the collaboration between director Thomas Vinterberg and him. The featurettes are very good and the commentary track is very informative which will delight fans of the film and those of Lars von Trier.


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