Watch This: The definitive “man’s best friend” movie is about so much more
Every day, Watch This offers staff recommendations inspired by a new movie coming out that week. This week: It’s Pets Week here at The A.V. Club, so we’re recommending movies about the sometimes sweet, sometimes weird, always meaningful relationship between people and animals.
Umberto D. (1952)
Umberto D. is usually described as a movie about a man and his dog—maybe even the movie about a man and his dog—which makes it all the more surprising for first-time viewers to discover just how much of it centers on Maria (Maria Pia Casilio), the pregnant teenage maid who befriends penniless retiree Umberto (Carlo Battisti) and his canine sidekick, Flike. One of those modest masterpieces that defined Italian neorealism, Umberto D. trades in pathos of the Chaplin variety, which means that the figure of the poor and decent man—seemingly out-of-time—must be counterbalanced by a young and …