My Life as a Dog

my-life-as-a-dog-dvd-coverMy Life as a Dog (1985)

Directed By: Lasse Hallström

Written By: Lasse Hallström, Reidar Jönsson, Brasse Brännström, Per Berglund, Based on the Novel by Reidar Jönsson

My Rating: 5/5

In 1950s Sweden, 12-year-old Ingemar (Anton Glanzelius) struggles to face his mother’s illness and deteriorating condition. Ingemar and his brother are a handful — unable to cope with their fighting and mischief, their mother allows them to be sent away. Ingemar goes to live with his goofy, good-hearted uncle in a village whose life revolves around a glassworks factory.

My Life as a Dog

The village is full of quirky characters, including an eccentric sculptor, an old man who spends virtually every waking moment working on his roof, and an elderly fellow who passes the time by having Ingemar read him women’s underwear ads. Life with his uncle temporarily helps Ingemar deal with having to leave behind his sick mother and his beloved dog.

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This is a beautiful film that deals with familiar coming of age themes in a unique, interesting way. It artfully masters that difficult balance between sadness and drama. It also does a terrific job of looking at Ingemar’s growth — and his gradually emerging awareness of the truth of his situation — as well as the messiness, confusion, and joy of life.

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