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643 Ratings


Directed by Barbara Loden
United States, 1970


In grim, rust-belt Pennsylvania, Wanda is down and out. She works sporadically, has abandoned her husband and children, sleeps on her sister’s couch, drinks and smokes too much, and goes home with men just to have a roof over her head.

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Wanda Directed by Barbara Loden

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1971 | Directors' Fortnight

Venice Film Festival

1970 | Winner: Best Foreign Film (Pasinetti Award)

The film itself is a triumph, and it felt like it was ours to love. It captures the beauty of imperfection through its cinematography, the grain of the celluloid and the impressionistic style.
July 20, 2018
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This misplaced work of art, written by, directed by, and starring a misplaced actress and female artist—how lucky you are to see it, perhaps for the first time! I can tell you that watching Wanda is not a happy experience, but it’s a memorable and necessary one. The first time I saw it, I found the protagonist’s miserable existence at the hands of her drifter boyfriend . . . so disturbing, I had to stop watching it.
July 20, 2018
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The fullness of Wanda, her complexities and nuances, springs from Loden’s complete embodiment of the character, spun from but a few components into a woman simultaneously so realistic, yet unknowable, making this one of cinema’s great performances.
July 20, 2018
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What are people saying?

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Wanda

    Wanda "is so moving because it reflects Loden's own sad destiny. It feels like a scream of someone just about surviving. I feel as if I identify with Wanda, in that she's both fragile and strong at the same time; she may be alone but deep down there is a real resistance in her. I find that very touching. I can't imagine such a film ever having been made by a man." -Isabelle Huppert

  • Randy Walker's rating of the film Wanda

    I can't shake this film. Not that I'm trying to. There are emotions and images from it so indelible that they begin to create a ghostlike, pared-down imprint in my mind, emerging when I least expect it...not unlike when you stare at a light bulb and then close your eyes...somehow, the filament from the bulb remains.

  • Jason's rating of the film Wanda

    Sublime returning to Barbara Loden's WANDA by way of this its-about-goddamn-time restoration. Has enough credit has ever been paid the film's fantastically rich aesthetic? Loden as director: cozy with the New York avant-garde; Elia Kazan wife-collaborator; ideas, radical at the time, regarding appropriation of documentary techniques. Legendary performance in her own legendary movie, she ranks w/ Chaplin and Keaton.

  • Samuel T.'s rating of the film Wanda

    Just re-viewed on glorious gritty 35mm, and just after reading SUITE FOR BARBARA LODEN by Nathalie Léger. So difficult to view this film after reading the book, the book being a poetic inquiry into the life of this one-film wonder woman, so mysterious, a lost soul portraying a lost soul. Reeks of Cassavetes (shot by Proferes). Loden IS Wanda, and she declared she was the only person fit for the role. Heartbreaking.

  • Francisco R.'s rating of the film Wanda

    The chance encounter between Wanda and Mr. Dennis is as ideologically cataclysmic as the one between Eddie Valiant and the cartoons in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a violent conceptual clash marrying DIY, low budget neorealist principles against the hard-boiled milieu found in the most pungent pulp stories and noir films, with a strong existential undercurrent providing the point of interaction. This is a great movie.

  • Lynch/Fellini's rating of the film Wanda

    I found this film EXTREMELY HARD TO FIND, but am glad I finally watched it! This is a great example of cinema-verite and shows a dominant voice from an unsung filmmaker. It is truly a shame Barbara Loden never made another film after this!

  • This is Jake Kath's rating of the film Wanda

    A cinematic spiritual sister to Jeanne Dielman. Some of the most uncompromising torture porn I've ever seen. The open ending has me thinking not only the next steps of the characters but of my life and choices I make to define myself. Its easy for any of us to slip away...

  • oki's rating of the film Wanda

    everything about it looked gorgeous to me- every gesture and landscape of huge swathes of dirt, every heartbreaking yet funny piece of dialogue. the scenes unfurl in my dreams under cheap motel lights and cloudy skies.

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