If you lined up to see Darling Companion, in which Diane Keaton loves her dog more than she loves her husband, at this year’s Miami International Film Festival, it’s likely because you wanted to catch a film with plenty of Cute Overload-appropriate footage. Sadly, that movie made the mistake of featuring its handsome hound in too few scenes. But you won’t have that problem with Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog, opening at the Bill Cosford Cinema (1111 Memorial Dr., Coral Gables) this Thursday and running through next Tuesday.
For animal lovers — and in Miami, we have ’em in droves — there’s never a bad time to show a movie tracing the development of a kind, charismatic yellow Labrador retriever from frolicsome puppy to devoted Seeing Eye companion to weary senior. When just a tiny, adorable bundle of fur, Quill (so named because of the odd marking on his side that resembles a bird in flight) shows remarkable patience and calm, distinguishing him from his four littermates and qualifying him as a good candidate to aid the visually impaired. After being fostered by a doting couple until age 1, Quill then undergoes training with affectionate disciplinarian Satoshi Tawada (Kippei Shiina), who matches the imperturbable pooch with cranky Mitsuru Watanabe (Kaoru Kobayashi). The protracted section with the sour, loud, middle-aged blind man and his family is uneven, yet viewers can grow only so irritable when a dog (or series of dogs) as magnificent as this one is on-screen. As Ted Hughes, comparing poems to animals, once said: “They have a certain wisdom. They know something special.”
Mon., July 2, 9 p.m., 2012