Mitt liv som hund
**½/**** Image A- Sound B+ Extras B
starring Anton Glanzelius, Tomas von Brömssen, Anki Lidén, Melinda Kinnaman
screenplay by Lasse Hallström & Reidar Jönsson & Brasse Brännström & Per Berglund, based on the novel by Reidar Jönsson
directed by Lasse Hallström
by Angelo Muredda Before Oscar powerbrokers Scott Rudin and Harvey Weinstein entrusted their yearly contenders to can't-fail Stephen Daldry, there was Lasse Hallström. A three-time Academy award nominee whose Chocolat is still roundly (and somewhat unfairly, given the company of trash like Crash) dismissed as one of the most undeserving Best Picture nominees of recent years, Hallström best encapsulates the notion, popular in Oscar-watching circles, of the "fifth nominee": the uncelebrated contender who presumably just made the cut. Consecutive star-studded nonstarters like The Shipping News and An Unfinished Life--which, lest we forget, quasi-romantically paired a maimed Morgan Freeman with the existentially-troubled bear who gored him--have dimmed his reputation considerably since then, but Hallström has nevertheless assured himself a strange place in American filmmaking (not least because he is Swedish) as simultaneously one of the most-awarded and least-loved directors of the Miramax era of upmarket indies.