FIN REVIEW: Dogman a triumphant, provocative tale propelled by lead performance

This gritty, disquieting tale of a meek dog groomer willing to do anything for a better life is the best film of the festival so far.

The Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or nominee is bursting with a mix of life and weary desperation in every frame, and is a steady vehicle for lead Marcello Fonte.

Fonte, who won Best Actor at Cannes 2018, gives the best performance I’ve seen at FIN so far, and is haunting as a man driven to crime just to be accepted.

He’s a dog groomer living a simple life, separated from the mother of his daughter and sharing partial custody. He badly wants a better life for her, and to give her a quality of life she deserves.

This need leads him to form a loose association with the local gangsters, who use and take advantage of his good nature and inability to stand up for himself.

As he finds himself deeper and deeper in with a rough brute named Simone, his interests keep becoming less important to those making the decisions.

This culminates in a fantastic slow-burn drama with a thrilling, heartbreaking conclusion. It is bar none the best foreign-language film of the year so far, and may very well end up my favourite of FIN 2018.

5/5 Stars

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