The premise of Wiener-Dog sounded cute, revolving around people "inspired or changed by one particular dachshund, who seems to be spreading a certain kind of comfort and joy." Aww. But Welcome to the Dollhouse director Todd Solondz's definition of cute is not the masses' definition of cute. Stringing together four vignettes, Wiener-Dog reminds us of everything we invest in pets, and everything we lose when they disappear from our lives. "What happens when they put Wiener-Dog to sleep?" asks one innocent child. You enable Solondz's vicious wit and keen observation, that's what. Wiener-Dog has Julie Delpy describing dog sex, Greta Gerwig kidnapping a pup, Danny Devito failing man's best friend, and Zosia Mamet trying to understand why her grandma would name a dog "cancer." It's delightfully odd, deeply profound, and Sundance 2016's one true masterpiece.
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Matt Patches is Thrillist’s Entertainment Editor. He previously wrote for Grantland, Esquire.com, Vulture, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Guardian. He barely slept during Sundance. Find him on Twitter @misterpatches.