Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
Margot and her son Claude decide to visit her sister Pauline after she announces that she is getting married to less-than-impressive Malcolm. In short order, the storm the sisters create leaves behind a a mess of thrashed relationships and exposed family secrets.
Peggy is single, childless, in her 40s, a lonely executive assistant in a friendly office. Her dog Pencil is the love of her life, and when he dies after eating some sort of toxin, Peggy's life spins out of her control: a friendly neighbor invites her for dinner; a friendly staff member at her vet's calls with an abused dog he recommends she adopt - she does, and also finds herself attracted to this fellow. She becomes a vegan, supports animal-rights causes, and embroils her brother's young children in these concerns. Saving dogs and other animals become such a passion that her mental health and her job may be in danger. Are regaining control and finding love beyond her reach? Written by
"Year of the Dog" is by no means a Hollywood movie. No "perfect" characters here. No "perfect" story. Don't get me wrong, I love a good Hollywood movie. By all means, bring on the popcorn! We do, indeed, need that sort of entertainment in this day and age. I truly love it!
I'm just saying that this film is another breed altogether. "Year of the Dog" deals with situations, realities, and characters one might actually encounter in real life.
This film is brilliant in that it doesn't take sides. An animal lover (like myself) can watch it, and feel fulfilled and amused. A non-animal-lover (unlike myself) can likewise watch it, and feel fulfilled and amused.
Quite a tightrope writer/director Mr. White has created for himself. . .and completely succeeded at traversing. Bravo sir!
It's ultimately a story about how different sorts of people find a way of dealing with the painful events in their lives.
The actors are all on top form (particularly Regina King, Molly Shannon, Laura Dern, Josh Pais, and Peter Saarsgard--not to mention all the beautiful animals).
One could view this story as an exploration of "Dysfunction in modern America". Or, one could view this story as an exploration of "How to deal with dysfunction in modern America".
Take your pick...
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