Dog Days (2001)


Critic Consensus: A relentlessly disturbing, depressing work.


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Movie Info

Famed for his controversial documentaries Models and Animal Love, Ulrich Seidl makes his first fiction film with this impassioned attack on the banality and emptiness of modern suburban life. Using a documentary shooting style and mostly non-actors, Seidl weaves together a series of vignette story lines into a tapestry of loneliness and quiet desperation. A retired old man obsesses over meaningless information in life -- the weight of his groceries, and noise level of the neighborhood. A faded beauty queen's devotion to her boyfriend ends after an ugly night at the discotheque. A couple who has long since divorced though still lives under the same roof engages in a psychological war of attrition, trying to force the other into moving out the house. A young teacher's date with her boyfriend turns unexpectedly into a drunken orgy. This film won the prestigious Golden Lion at the 2001 Venice Film Festival.


Maria Hofstätter
as Anna, the Hitchhiker
Victor Hennemann
as Wickerl, the teacher's lover
Alfred Mrva
as Hruby, the alarm salesman
Gerti Lehner
as Walter's Housekeeper
Franziska Weisz
as Klaudia, the young girl
Rene Wanko
as Mario, Klaudia's boyfriend
Victor Rathbone
as Ex-husband
Erich Finsches
as Walter, the Old Man
Christian Bakonyi
as The Masseur
Ingeborg Wehofer
as Car Accident Victim
Leopold Schiel
as Car Accident Victim
Silvia Piglmann
as Car Accident Victim
Karl Christoph
as Car Accident Victim
Henriette Maslo
as Car Driver
Norbert Rafti
as Car Driver
Edith Helm
as Car Driver
Editha Maurer
as Car Driver
Christine Raffelsberg
as Anna's Mother
Peter Kristek
as The Teacher's Neighbor
Elfriede Draszdak
as The Teacher's Neighbor
Alfred Strobl
as The Supermarket Branch Manager
Marco Kutzeroff
as The Disco Visitor
Hermine Mayer
as Klaudia's Mother
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Critic Reviews for Dog Days

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (13)

Seidl's talent for satirical invective is neutralized by his weakness for over-the-top narrative pyrotechnics-this is more warmed-over Quentin Tarantino than Georg Grosz.

Sep 29, 2017 | Full Review…

A remarkable, deeply disturbing work by a brilliant filmmaker.

Feb 4, 2004 | Rating: 4/4

Oddly compelling, disturbing -- some might say disturbed -- look at suburban life, Austrian style.

Jan 29, 2004 | Rating: A-

Strangely entertaining.

Jan 8, 2004 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

What some detect as cruelty in Dog Days is in fact a bleak but deeply felt humanism -- a yearning that we might all learn to better love our neighbors and, perhaps more importantly, ourselves.

Jan 8, 2004 | Full Review…

A parade of sadism and misanthropy.

Dec 4, 2003 | Rating: D+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Dog Days


The interweaving stories of low lives in Austria in uncomfortable situtions. The naturalistic depression goes on for 2 whole hours, definitely not worth watching even though John Waters recommended it.

Sylvester Kuo
Sylvester Kuo

Super Reviewer


Quite perfect film about life in Vienna, Austria. This film isn't for the faint of heart. It's like Happiness with explicit sex and a less optimistic view of humanity. There's animal poisoning, a strip-tease from a senior citizen, an orgy 'esque' bathouse in a shopping centre, anal candle penetration, and the molestation of the mentally incompetent. Filmmaker Ulrich Seidl has no interest in redeeming humanity here. And why should he? This film features excellent performances from all involved, is always interesting, and is probably the most intelligent social statement to be made on film in awhile.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer


It's a very thin line between wanting to turn this movie off and laughing histerically-- I fall under the latter category, which I'm not sure how exactly it makes me feel. The characters are strange and annoying (I wanted to kick that hitchhiker in the face), yet completely fascinating.

Quinto Wallight
Quinto Wallight

Super Reviewer


[font=Century Gothic]Set in a heat wave in Austria, "Dog Days" is about four couples, ranging from old to young, genial to one-sided bullying that with the exception of the youngest couple, are linked by Hruby(Alfred Mrva), a security salesman, and Anna(Maria Hofstatter), an idiot savant hitchhiker. The movie's central themes are alienation and how material items cannot buy happiness but those themes have been handled much better elsewhere. And it does not help that the characters are undeveloped and the plot is thin to say the least.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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