Writer-director Todd Solondz follows the titular animal through four stories with four different owners: a sweetly curious boy (Keaton Nigel Cooke), a compassionate young woman (Greta Gerwig), a frustrated middle-aged man (Danny De Vito), and a hardened old-timer (Ellen Burstyn). Through the pup’s mostly mute, mostly sweet presence, the boy learns about humanity and death, the young woman about humanity and love, the middle-aged man about humanity and work, and the old-timer about humanity and art (sort of). Though really, death is always in there, too. The style tends toward the artificial and the humor toward the archly droll, but the stories themselves are perfectly sincere. With Zosia Mamet, Kieran Culkin, Julie Delpy (2016) — Matthew Lickona
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