LIFE AS A DOG (Sweden, 1985)
This big winner is one of the top films shown locally in 1987. Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom ("Something to Talk About") chronicle of one year (1959) in the life of a 12-year old boy is a wonderfully warm, perspicacious and natural work. It was voted Best Swedish film of the year and its young star, Best Actor. It has been most popular around the world. The point of view is mostly the kid's , which is a far cry from movies on children made as unabashed fantasies, or audience manipulation, or self-deceiving "realism" -- the way adults perceive matters. Ingemar has an absentee father, an older brother, and a terminally ill mother. Sent to relatives in the country, thanks to his great imagination and the several oddballs he meets, his eyes are opened to many wonders and revelations, while we, the public, are kept steadily involved and amused. (The title comes from Ingemar's leitmotif, his thoughts on the dog Laika that the Soviets had sent into space, mingled with thoughts of his own, absent dog.) Director/co-writer Hallstrom brings much humor from his special experience on television and feature movies.
film is charming without being distancing, outlandish without artifices, touching without maudliness, and very deft at introducing telling details, visual or behavioral. Young Anton Glanzelius gives an Oscar-worthy performance, conveying a full range of feelings through tiny changes of expression and body language. (Edwin Jahiel)
Copyright © Edwin Jahiel
Movie Reviews by Edwin Jahiel