Few movies come this close to perfection. This is an intelligent and moving story of a boy who must come to terms with abandonment, loss and the casual betrayal of adults. Extremely well acted on all sides, with a bold script that dares to ask the important questions. Ingemar must try to find some balance in his life, as he is tossed from one "home" to another, like a stray dog... or, like the Soviet space-dog Laika, who was sent into space only to starve to death in orbit. "They never intended to bring her back." The final scenes of "My Life as a Dog" do win out, when the odd town's crazy old man takes a swim in the frozen river. The whole cast of peculiar town-folk come out to "rescue" him, and offer him a place by the fire, a blanket, a little whiskey... Here, Ingemar finds balance in the love of other people, so one is left, not with a sense of despair, but with a sense of hope in the midst of sorrow and loss.
Note: I recommend the subtitled version over the dubbed version, as the language and inflections should be experienced in full.