In a limited release (New York and Chicago), a Japanese film called Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog opens today, and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. In the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert writes:
The Japanese-made movie is a fictionalized story, though based on fact, about the lifespan of a yellow Labrador retriever from his puppyhood to old age. Not for a moment did it lose my interest. It answers questions I’ve always had about guide dogs for the blind — and why blind people trust them without hesitation.
And on nj.com, Star-Ledger film critic Stephen Witty goes even further:
When it comes to “Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog” – at least as far as fellow Fido-philes go — I can’t recommend the movie highly enough. I also, truth be told, can’t warn them strongly enough.
Because although I hate spoiling any plot points, neither can I in good conscience send people into something completely unprepared – particularly parents who might be tempted to bring along small children.
So let’s just say that, if “Marley & Me” made you pull out a tissue? “Quill” is going to require an entire box. Or two.
It’s a wonderful film, though, which is – oddly – only now getting a very limited release, eight years after its Japanese debut.
Let’s hope that the rest of us can see the film via wider release, streaming online, or a DVD soon.