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Double Feature Movie Review: ‘Isle of Dogs’ and ‘Loveless”

Going to see a double feature is interesting, in that most of the time, it is done with the ease of binge-watching your favorites that are on instant watch through one of many streaming services. Instead, I did it the old-fashioned way, in the dark, free of cell phones among other distractions that might interrupt your Netflix-sesh.

First off, Isle of Dogs is visual candy, as this whole film encompasses a theme park of an atmosphere. The entire film showcases comic relief in the form of cartoonish aesthetics, in an almost Aardman-produced film, looking way, like Wallace and Gromit. These puppets aren’t clay though, and through their image, instant sympathy is brought to each and every one of them. There are scenes where Anderson pays aesthetic homage to the classic style of cartoons, such as the way the fights ensue. As the dogs in the film are all to be rooted for, the narrative arc of Chief is one of the best of any Anderson film. Maybe it’s because of the all-star cast, attributing Bill Murray, F. Murray Abraham, Greta Gerwig, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, to say the least.

 

After having dog sneezing tickle me through the 100 minutes that Anderson’s film played, I was given the emotional baggage that was Loveless. The cinematography tells the story, as most of the motifs are told through the lens, rather than dialogue. The acting in this film is better than any American film of most recent years, especially with the performances from the parents of a missing child, Maryala Spivak and Aleksy Rozin. Although the film didn’t live up to my expectations from seeing director’s last picture, Leviathan, Russian director Andry Zvagintsev focuses the camera on the themes of betrayal and the mystery behind the rooted themes the film evokes. The story is told through their faces, and their actions, and only sometimes through their unbelievably well-delivered dialogue. Not to sound cliché, but you will be thinking about this one well after it is over.