A Letter to True (PG)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner30/07/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 78 mins

Watchable, well made documentary that's essentially like leafing through a scrapbook and being surrounded by dogs, while Weber tells you stories, reads you poems, plays you music and shows you film clips.

What's it all about?
Photographer-slash-film-maker Bruce Weber's latest film is framed as a letter to his beloved dog True, one of several adorable golden retrievers Weber owns - the others (Palomino, Big Skye, Rain, Polar Bear, Guy, Cloud, Sailor, Hope, Whizzy, Jake and Tyson) all receive onscreen credits as the "stars" of the movie.

However, the film is more than just Weber's dog-centric home movies – instead, Weber interweaves several of his personal obsessions, including: 50s and 60s music; home movies of Dirk Bogarde (who became a friend) in Provence; conversations with fellow dog-lover Elizabeth Taylor; and Weber's (and True's) reactions to 9/11, Vietnam, Haiitian refugees, poetry (read by Julie Christie and Marianne Faithfull), Martin Luther King and Lassie movies.

The Good
A Letter To True would make an interesting companion piece to Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg, because it shares the scrapbook-like approach to memory and the cataloguing of obsessions. The result is an undeniably self-indulgent film, but it's nonetheless fascinating, particularly when Weber talks about Bogarde.

There are some amusing sequences (if, perhaps, a few too many shots of dogs on surfboards) and Weber occasionally unearths the odd surprise, such as a lengthy courtroom clip from a Lassie movie, in which a pivotal disaster turns out to have taken place on September 11th.

The Bad
Admittedly, not all of the sequences work – it's hard to see the point of a beautiful, topless model frolicking about with a camera, for example, unless it was included purely for titillation. Similarly, there's a sequence with an American farming family and their dogs that seems out of place, or at least unexplained – are they Weber's neighbours? Did they breed some of his dogs?

Worth seeing?
In short, A Letter to True is a watchable, well assembled and occasionally amusing memoir, though it may be a little too self-indulgent for some tastes.

Film Trailer

A Letter to True (PG)
A Letter to True has been reviewed by 1 users
image
01 Shaun the Sheep Movie (tbc)

Shaun the Sheep

image
02 The Minions Movie (tbc)

Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock

image
03 The Interview (tbc)

Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, James Franco

image
04 Black Sea (15)

Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Tobias Menzies

image
05 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (PG)

Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Dan Stev...

Content updated: 23/12/2014 04:23

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (12A)

Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves come to the end of their journey in the third and final part of Peter Jackson's epic adaptation of Tolkien's novel.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films