Review By Katya Marletta
The fact that critics have noticed the bravura of the independent director and screenwriter Todd Solondz is proved by the positive reviews of his film.
The fact that his works have been appreciated worldwide is shown by the countless nominations, amongst which – to cite the most prestigious – the one for a Golden Globe, and a flood of awards which he has collected in his career participating in the most important film festivals. What is not yet clear to the many is why the consecration of one of the sharpest and most sensitive directors of recent years has not yet reached the altar of the greats. Will this be the right time for “Wiener-Dog”? The new film by the American seems to have all its papers in order to deserve the title of ‘masterpiece’.
After its official debut at the recent Sundance Festival in fact, “Wiener-Dog” has embarked upon its happy path towards success. The story, structured in a distinct anthology of four parts, uses the subterfuge of the pilgrimage? of an animal to narrate the life of its owners. In the development of the film the attention of the director, initially focused on the fate of the dog, moves to that of men whose common denominator is depression.
The characters, as if on a stage, alternate, as do their lives, inexorably intertwined with those of the dog: the child who has survived cancer, the young woman with her incomplete life, the professor ravaged by the frustration of his lack of success, and the old woman abandoned to her loneliness. The four protagonists bring to the screen the egoism and weaknesses of human beings, inclined to satisfy a egoist dependency and never simply enjoy the company of their faithful friend.
“The dog is a dog” says the mother to the depressed child, as if to imply that it cannot feel emotions. In the background the gaze and the silence of Wiener who participates, powerless, in the fate his owners have decided for him until, if only for a few moments, he lets himself go in the irresistible discovery of freedom. Charlie Tahan, Greta Gerwig, Zosia Manet, Ellen Burstyn and Danny DeVito all bring a touch of irresistible acting brilliance to their characters.