RIP Pencil

The year of the dog in the Chinese zodiac was 2006, but in 2007, Year of the Dog was released. It’s a touching, funny and quirky ride into the life of the protagonist, played by Molly Shannon, as she loses her beloved beagle, Pencil, and the unexpected roads her formerly quiet life veers onto, including an animal-awareness awakening and making some massively bad decisions. It’s written and directed by Mike White, a vegan filmmaker, but this story isn’t a V-army recruitment film, so “carnivores” need not fret—it’s not too challenging or pedagogic. But it is entertaining.