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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday: Year of the Dog

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November 19, 2010

Movie Review Friday: Year of the Dog

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Review Friday selections. Each week we review a film with an environmental theme that's currently in theaters or available on DVD. Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a short review and look for it in the next Movie Review Friday.

Year of the Dog (2007)

Available on DVD

When Peggy's (Molly Shannon) dog Pencil dies from a mysterious poisoning, her grief propels her into an increasingly frenzied exploration of dating, veganism, animal adoption, and radical activism in director Mike White's Year of the Dog.

Those familiar with Shannon's quirky Saturday Night Live performances might expect this movie to deliver a dose of lighthearted comedy. And while Shannon is expectedly charming as a single, 40-something secretary whose love for animals becomes more and more intense, her portrayal of an unraveled woman proves that the comedienne also has the chops for drama (or at least very dark comedy).

If there's SNL-style humor to be found, it's in the performances of John C. Reilly, Laura Dern, Regina King, and Peter Sarsgaard, whose roles as Peggy's friends, family, and love interests are more caricatured. The supporting cast expertly weaves the bizarre interpersonal web that incites Peggy's transformation. Ultimately portraying a quest for love and purpose, Year of the Dog pokes into the notion that sometimes animals are better companions than people.

--Della Watson

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