Year of the Dog (2007)

Feature Film | Comedy-Drama | USA | English | 1h37m
Dir: Mike White | Scr: Mike White | Ph: Tim Orr | Prod: Dede Gardner, Ben LeClair, & Mike White | Mus: Christophe Beck | Ed: Dody Dorn | PD: Daniel Bradford | AD: Macie Vener | Snd: Aaron Glascock & Curt Schulkey | Cast: Molly Shannon, Laura Dern, Regina King, Tom McCarthy, Josh Pais, John C. Reilly, Peter Sarsgaard, Amy Schlagel, Zoe Schlagel, Dale Godboldo

When her beloved pet dog dies, a woman seeks to fill the great void left by its demise. A date with her kindly neighbour comes to naught, when she realises that he is a keen hunter; a budding friendship with a fellow animal lover seems more promising – until he reveals his celibacy; whilst the adoption of a (troubled) new pet dog also proves somewhat difficult. Never the less, her growing animal rights awareness leads to her embracing of both veganism and activism, which soon begins to fill her time. However, when enthusiasm turns to obsession, she becomes in danger of both alienating family and friends and losing her job. What in other hands might have turned out patronising, mocking, or polemical here is presented with great care and compassion. Each and every character – all with such differing world views – is painted with great empathy and brought to life affectingly by each member of the excellently assembled cast, with the moral at the centre of its story being left very much open to interpretation.