Year of the Dog

Rated 3.0

Year of the Dog is one of those flicks that either plays as comedy or tragedy, according to your headspace. Here Molly Shannon plays a mousy office worker who exists on the fringe of her coworker’s consciousness, her sole companionship supplied by her beloved beagle. But when the dog is ambiguously poisoned, she is compelled to find ways to fill the void, none of them truly satisfying. Ultimately, she adopts another dog that only exacerbates her downward spiral (or spiritual rebirth … again, all about your perceptions) and begins an obsessive odyssey that leads to all sorts of antisocial behavioral problems, such as veganism and strident animal rights activism. Endearing performances and droll writing take the sour edge off of what could have been overtly uncomfortable material, allowing the characters to exist as they are with no real condemnation or approval.