Bottom 40% of all time (see others with this rank)

Festival Year

2002 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Dramatic Competition


Lisa Kudrow, Hank Azaria, Vincent D'Onofrio, Lee Tergesen, Heather Morgan

Non-Cast Credits

Kasia Adamik, Tom Reed, Alicia Allain, Rick Moran, Heather Morgan, Irek Hartowicz, Jim Makiej, Eric Colzin


Lucy barks now, and she didn't used to.

She has chosen to abandon all human forms of communication and retreat into her own seemingly safer world. Her loving husband Peter is worried, but willing at first to treat the occurrence as a passing phase. Maybe it is a direct result of her job as a dogsitter? As her condition continues, however, his desperation drives him to seek the help of others.

It is the collection of misfits Peter cobbles together as experts that gives Bark its comic flare � Lisa Kudrow as the offbeat vet, Vincent D'Onofrio as the wacky psych-tech, Hank Azaria as the loser best friend. The first question one could ask is "Who is really crazy here?" Lee Tergesen's Peter is heartbreaking as the suffering husband, and Heather Morgan, who also wrote the script, is haunting as the "afflicted" Lucy.

Director Kasia Adamik has concocted a clever theatrical style to present this altered reality, keeping it flush with absurdities so it can be taken more than just literally and presenting a world in which logic is only partially enlisted. In a hilarious scene, Lucy's family is summoned to the apartment, and we are hit with a new realization. A classic case of "the acorn falling close to the tree" � any chance of immediate recovery for Lucy now seems improbable. Peter must come to grips with what to do after "wanting things the way they were." As for the film, it also exposes the bigger dilemma: In today's society, how does one deal with mental illness, given the limited options that face us?


John Cooper (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.