I have a considerable liking for quirky films - and this one has a lot of 'quirk' in it.
(It's not to be confused, of course, with the recent film 'Weiner' - one about a creature who is capable of living only by base animal instincts, and this one about a dog.)
I never knew (or had forgotten) the American term of the film's title. Everyone in England calls this breed 'dachshund' - maybe also 'sausage dog' by some. In fact I wasn't quite sure how to pronounce 'Wiener' and was ready to ask for a ticket in the way of 'Veener-dog' (which I presume is derived from the German for 'Viennese') when I happened to see a notice at the cinema entrance explaining phonetically how to say it. (I suppose the staff were fed up with hearing it mispronounced.)
So to the film itself, which I might have avoided, being concerned as it is with an animal which may have been portrayed as being mistreated, until I read that the dog was merely a 'device' to link four separate stories together, with greater emphasis placed on the pet's successive owners than the animal itself.
Also, director Todd Solondz (just noticed that we share birthdays, he being younger by 13 years) is one whose name I sit up for. Although I've only managed to see a couple of works of his, both from the 1990s - 'Welcome to the Dollhouse' and 'Happiness' (ironic title!), two films I liked a lot - they are both again full of quirkiness.
The dog owners here include some very recognisable names - Julie Delpy, Greta Gerwig, Ellen Burstyn and, perhaps in the most substantial segment, Danny de Vito as a frustrated, struggling screenwriter. Each part is about 20 minutes long, or just above, without any significant links between them other than the domestic pet itself, which gets called different names in each one. (In the final part, the invalided Burstyn has named it 'Cancer'!)
(Spoiler alert!) There is just the one truly upsetting scene for we animal lovers, and it comes right at the end. However, there are a few seconds notice when we can guess what's going to happen and have an opportunity to look away. In addition, there are also one or two scenes earlier on involving the dog which skirt close to the edge of upset though they do not actually tip over into it.
I liked 'Wiener-dog' a lot. I'm favourably disposed towards this kind of 'compendium' film and this one held onto my interest in all four episodes (plus a very brief 'intermission'). If you're able to cope with uncertainties regarding the dog's fate I can reassure you that apart from the one scene to which I've referred you have little else to be apprehensive about and should derive sufficient entertainment to have made for an enjoyable hour-and-a-half............7.5.
1 hour ago