Wes Anderson’s latest film, ‘Isle of Dogs’, opened the Berlin International Film Festival on 15 February 2018, and has received rave reviews from most critics.
The stop-motion movie is set in a dystopian future Japan, where all dogs have been quarantined on the remote eponymous island due to a “canine flu”. Chief, Rex, Boss, Duke, and King – voiced by Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, and Bob Balaban – are bored with their isolated existence until a boy named Atari Kobayashi (Koyu Rankin) ventures to the island and asks for their help to search for his dog, Spots (Liev Schreiber). Scarlett Johannsson and Tilda Swinton also feature, as an ex-show dog and Pug seer respectively.
The film is set for general release on 20 March 2018 in the UK and 23 March 2018 in the States. It is also set to open the Glasgow film festival later this month.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently holds an approval rating of 95% based on 22 reviews, and it has an average rating of 8.4/10 on IMDb. Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a normalised score of 84 out of 100, based on 11 critics, indicating ‘universal acclaim’.
Variety calls it “A winningly dippy hodgepooch of lo-fi sci-fi, band-of-outsiders adventure”. “Anderson is clearly a dog lover himself and his film is bound to appeal to anyone who shares his passion”, said The Independent. The film’s PG rating, 2 hour and 36 minute run time, and sardonic humour, however, mean that this is not one for the kiddies at Easter. The Telegraph cautions “Watching Anderson go this dark might take some viewers aback, but there’s remarkable beauty and a sober delight to his vision of creatures scrabbling for survival.” “The story collaborators firmly eschew the Japanese cult of kawaii, or cuteness”, confirms The Guardian. “Either way, when the dogs cheekily break the fourth wall to arch an eyebrow at the camera, there will be few viewers who can resist,” says Screen Daily
Meanwhile, various cinemas around the UK have announced that they are hosting dog-friendly film screenings on 25 March 2018 as a publicity stunt.