Native Americans 1, Broke girl with dog 0 (Richard Brody on Wendy and Lucy and The Exiles)

Found on the New Yorker blog - The rest of Brody's take on the film offers a pointed contrast between the Neo-Realist visions of De Sica and Rossellini (with which, like what follows below, I heartily agree)

“Wendy and Lucy” is a work of self-conscious manipulation, in which Reichardt filters out the cinema’s subjectivity and personalism in order to intensify the viewer’s sympathy with a cipher. The ostensible objectivity of Reichardt’s meticulous naturalism is a device that she uses to portray a sliver of physical reality as the whole truth; her rejection of psychology as well as of cultural context plays false and reeks of demagogy.

An example of what’s missing is offered by Kent Mackenzie’s remarkable “The Exiles,” which he made between 1958 and 1961 but had its theatrical première this year. Set in a community of Native Americans in Los Angeles, it, too, focusses on the economic travails of people working bad jobs or not working at all, but it also unfolds their inner life with an astonishing intimacy, through the depiction of a wider and deeper range of the characters’ actions as well as by the use of richly-textured voice-overs, which range from the confessional to the poetic. Mackenzie doesn’t pretend that filmed reality is all the reality there is; his images and his soundtrack suggest inner depths that, far from the pseudo-universal neutrality of Reichardt’s characters, offer ambiguities and complexities that avoid all message-mongering, and endow the film with the enduring mysteries of art.