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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

OWD BOB (1997)

Third filming for this novel about an orphaned boy who goes to live with his crusty G’dad on the Isle of Man. Anyone who’s ever seen a Hallmark tv presentation can guess the rest, but the film is just peculiar enough to give pause. G’dad comes off as an embittered psychotic (a weird miscalculation from James Cromwell) and his prize-winning herder dog is also the vicious local sheep killer. (The pooch who got the role can barely raise a friendly bark.) The neighbors seem nice enough, befriending our lonely lad, yet they refuse any medical treatment as Mom succumbs to cancer. Talk about stoic. And the story climaxes with a limply staged sheep herding contest followed by yet another sheep killing, which turns the whole town into a community doggie lynch mob. The great Colm Meaney is fine as the nice neighbor and Jemima Rooper, as his daughter, has wonderful off-beat looks, but it adds up to one mighty peculiar family movie. It's HEIDI meet CUJO.

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