3.5 Stars

There’s something darkly humorous about Wiener-Dog, writer-director Todd Solondz’s latest feature film. Telling four stories loosely connected by the titular dog, the film follows the dog as he’s adopted – and abandoned – by different owners, each with their own shortcomings. Wiener-Dog isn’t afraid to throw completely new characters, settings or situations at the dog, or at the audience. This includes a brief intermission in the middle, complete with “The Ballad of the Wiener-Dog” by Tony winner Marc Shaiman. But the dog is a bit of a distraction to potential audiences; Solondz has some darker material he wants to pursue in the four stories, at least one of which will likely trigger some shock for viewers. This isn’t a kid-friendly movie with a dog, by any means. But it’s filled with moments that should make mature audiences pause and think.

Wiener-Dog • Rating: R (for language and some disturbing content) • Runtime: 90 minutes • Genre: Comedy • Cast: Ellen Burstyn, Kieran Culkin, Julie Delpy, Danny DeVito, Greta Gerwig, Tracy Letts, Zozia Mamet • Director: Todd Solondz • Writer: Todd Solondz • Distributor: Amazon/IFC

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