Combustible Celluloid
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With: Anton Glanzelius, Melinda Kinnaman, Tomas Van Bromssen, Anki Liden
Written by: Lasse Hallstrom, Per (Pelle) Berglund, Brasse Brannstrom
Directed by: Lasse Hallstrom
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Language: Swedish with English subtitles
Running Time: 101
Date: 03/19/2013

My Life as a Dog (1987)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Ruff Childhood

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The good-natured coming-of-age pic My Life as a Dog from Sweden captured the hearts of many Americans when it was released in 1987, never mind that director Lasse Hallstrom has never made anything else nearly as good.

Anton Glanzelius gives a terrific performance as little Ingemar, so spastic and accident-prone that he's sent to live in the country with relatives in order to spare his deathly ill mother the stress. His adventures range from riding in an earthbound spacecraft to boxing with a cute little tomboy Saga (Melinda Kinnaman).

Hallstrom received an Oscar nomination for Best Director, but lost to Bernardo Bertolucci (The Last Emperor).

Criterion's excellent 2003 DVD comes with an early Hallstrom short film (52 minutes) and an essay by Kurt Vonnegut. In 2011, Criterion issued the film on Blu-Ray, with a new transfer supervised by director Hallstrom and an uncompressed monaural soundtrack. There's also a video interview with the director, and a trailer.

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