Lawn Dogs 1997


Director John Duigan’s output rarely made an impact on the public, yet this offbeat drama deserves top marks for originality and unconventional plotting. The developing relationship between a ten year old girl (Misha Barton) and a local handyman (Sam Rockwell) is dawn out with precise attention to her domestic situation, and fantasy trappings relating to the myth of witch Baba Yaga pay of in a spectacular finale in which nature rises to fulfill her dreams. The meaning of the title, and the film itself, are never spelled out, but Lawn Dogs found an appreciative audience at festivals before dropping into ill-deserved obscurity. Romantic in the philosophical sense, Duigan’s film is a real diamond in the rough.


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