Sunday, November 23, 2008

Year Of The Dog

It would be a safe presumption, given that this film is written and directed by Mike White and stars Molly Shannon, that Year Of The Dog is a comedy. The studio even suggests the genre, with the tag line, "Has the world left you a stray?" (get it..."a stray?" It's a knee-slapper), and trailers that highlight neurotic characters from the film.

But don't believe it. Not for a second. Year Of The Dog is not a comedy. Sure, it has some funny lines, but it's no comedy. The movie is, instead, an inside look into the emotional deterioration of a woman experiencing extreme loneliness, grief and disconnection.

The movie reminds me of Falling Down, with Michael Douglas.

Year Of The Dog is well written and boasts a terrific cast, which includes supporting actors Peter Sarsgaard and John C. Reilly. But it's Molly Shannon's performance which gives Year Of it's real substance. Shannon's ability to express an incredible range of emotion from within a stoic, reserved role was remarkable. That performance alone made the movie enjoyable to watch.

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