My Dog Skip

My Dog Skip


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The rose-tinted specs of memory reflect a world of childhood that can only have belonged to the imagination of soft-centred romantics.

The film is based on journalist Willie Morris' book about growing up in Mississippi during the war, with a one-legged dad (Kevin Bacon) and a nice lookin' mom (Diane Lane) and no friends.

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Willie (Frankie Muniz) is shy and sensitive, unlike his dad who is embittered and authoritarian. Other kids bully him, while he hero worships next-door-neighbour, Dink (Luke Wilson), the best ball player in the county.

On his ninth birthday, mom gives him a special present - dad does not approve - which changes his life. It is a Jack Russell terrier pup, called Skipper.

Now he has a friend that helps him make others, including the prettiest girl at school and the gang that used to make fun of him. Dink goes off to fight and returns in disgrace. Willie learns about loyalty and trust and how nothing stays the same.

Except everything does, which is part of the problem. Coloured folks are well-behaved and know their place. Dink comes good in the end, as you guessed. Dad learns to like Skip, even to smile. Mom stays mom-like forever. Skip grows old, although you wouldn't know it.

Morris remembers, "Spring would come and surprise us again." If those were the days, boy, they moved slow. As for Willie, he grew tall, went to Oxford as a Rhodes scholar and became a writer. Dreams come true sometimes and make you drowsy.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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My Dog Skip packshot
A shy boy grows up in Mississippi with a dog.
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Director: Jay Russell

Writer: Gail Gilchrist, based on the book by Willie Morris

Starring: Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson, Kevin Bacon, Bradley Coryell, Daylan Honeycutt, Cody Linley, Caitlin Wachs, Peter Crombie, Clint Howard, Mark Beech

Year: 1999

Runtime: 96 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US


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