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Actress/filmmaker Barbara Loden both directs and stars in the stark little character study Wanda. She plays a girl from a remote mining town, timidly searching for security and love in the big city. After several desultory and abusive relationships, Wanda is "saved" by Dennis (Michael Higgins), who turns out to be a petty crook. Stylistically, Wanda is spare, lean, and understated -- on every level. Loden originally shot the film on 16 mm, then blew it up to 35 for arthouse showings. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"If there is a female counterpart to John Cassavetes, Barbara Loden is it."
‑ Richard Brody, New Yorker
"The film is all the more impressive for its refusal to get embroiled in half-baked political attitudinising."
‑ , Time Out
"A sometimes incoherent primal scream, directed not at any particular target but at the state of the American dream in the late 1960s, especially as it applied to women."
‑ Michael W. Phillips, Jr., Goatdog's Movies
"Wanda is rather out of step with the other, more famous, lovers-on-the-run films of its period."
‑ Jeremy Heilman, MovieMartyr.com
"A brilliantly atmospheric film with a superb performance by Loden."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"...a solid characters study and fine debut, and swan song (Loden died in 1980 after battling cancer), for an unrequited filmmaker."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Painfully boring."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"Wanda is the singular vision of an artist who hailed from surroundings as bleak and limited as her title character's."
‑ Melissa Anderson, Village Voice
"...a landmark of American independent filmmaking."
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"This intelligent and original film is a prime example of the great films truly indie directors can make."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
More reviews for Wanda on Rotten Tomatoes