The Brave One

Starring Mooly Shannon, Laura Dern. Directed by Mike White
Running Time: 97 minutes
Rated: Rated M (moderate themes)
Here is a quite unpredictable film which certainly merits the description, 'quirky'.

And it really is about dogs. The focus is on the 40ish unmarried, rather awkward and reserved, Peggy. She is devoted to her work and her boss, from the vantage point (and restricted area) of her cubicle workplace. At home, she communes with her pet dog, Pencil. She is a loving aunty, especially for her niece Lissie, a kind of agony aunt for Layla at the office and provides donuts for her fellow-workers' morning tea.

Pencil dies.

It is almost the end of the world for Peggy but she meets Newt from the vets who persuades her to adopt another dog. She also takes a fancy to Newt but to no avail. She is so persuaded, however, by his vegan beliefs that she gets caught up with all kinds of protecting animals associations. This is disastrous to her life, to her relationships with her family - and to her dogs.

Where on earth can the plot go? To find out, you will need to see this sometimes puzzling light comedy. Molly Shannon is on screen all the time and makes Peggy a really distinctive character. The supporting cast includes Peter Saarsgaard as Newt, Laura Dern as Peggy's sister-in-law, John C. Reilly as her neighbour and Regina King as Layla.

It is written by Mike White who is definitely quirky with his Chuck and Buck and The Good Girl and his writing of and performing in School of Rock.

Fr Peter Malone MSC directs the film desk of SIGNIS: the World Association of Catholic Communicators, and is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.

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