Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Dogs of "Hugo"

Recently this blog looked at Academy Award-Winning Best Pictures that featured dogs in significant roles. (See "The Dogs of Oscar's Best Picture: Will 2011 Be Dog-Friendly?" December 1).

While dogs have remained mostly in the doghouse as far as the Academy is concerned, I concluded with some hope that this year, Oscar's Best might also feature a Lead Dog. 

"Beginners" and "50/50" are definite long-shots for the top prize, but "The Artist" seems to have legs (four of them) and its adorable Jack Russell Terrier could be the first with a significant role in the Academy's Big Film.

And now "Hugo", another period piece about the early days of filmmaking, is a strong contender with an Important Dog!

The station-master's loyal Doberman follows orders to apprehend orphans who hide in the Paris train station.  Fierce, fast, and frightening at first, this dog carries important segments of the film's plot, and like his owner, is redeemed as a not-so-bad creature by the film's end. 

In addition, two amorous, long-haired dachshunds provide marvelous support in a subplot involving a widow, who is a perennial occupant of the cafe, and her suitor, who must overcome the snapping jaws of the little hot-dog by providing her with a canine companion of her own. 

"Hugo" and "The Artist" have been universally recognized by critic's groups in their list of award nominees and winners.  This gives both films good odds in the upcoming Oscar contest, which could be the most dog-friendly competition since "Babe" was a nominee in 1995.

How can you not love it?

(Read on for my "epic" review of "Hugo" Dec. 13)

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