: : : My Life as a Dog

Story

Simultaneously elegiac and raw, this uneven--but unforgettable--tearjerker tells the story of Ingemar, a 12-year-old working-class Swedish boy sent to live with his childless aunt and uncle in a country village when his mother falls ill. Beginning with several representations of the most savage, unsentimental domestic intensity imaginable (interplay between a sick parent and loving child has never looked anywhere near as explosive), My Life as a Dog wisely doesn't attempt to maintain that level of danger; rather, the change in locale to rural Sweden is accompanied by a slackening of pace and a whimsical breeziness. Nevertheless, the tragic condition of Ingemar's mother (and later, the indeterminate fate of Sickan, his beloved dog, consigned to a kennel) hovers over the narrative with a gripping portentousness. At times, director Lasse Hallström misplaces the rhythm, and the film threatens to degenerate into a series of rustic vignettes; luckily, Ingemar's relationship with Gunnar, the jocular yet somewhat sinister uncle who essentially adopts him, carries a fascinating charge. In Swedish, with subtitles. This was later rewritten, whether intentionally or not, by Spike Lee, who changed the gender of the child, set the story in New York City, added a 1970s soul soundtrack, and called it Crooklyn. --Miles Bethany

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Widescreen

Cast

Anton Glanzelius

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: Lasse Hallström
  • Producer: Criterion/Voyager
  • Length: 101 min
  • Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaMar 24, 1987
    EuropeDec 12, 1985
    AustraliaSep 11, 1987
  • Ratings
    North AmericaPG-13
    EuropePG
    AustraliaPG
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaMar 11, 2003
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