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All About the Dog in ‘Anatomy of a Fall’

Written by aslmad.yaz

dog in anatomy of a fall
(Photo Credit: Alberto Menendez Cervero | Getty Images)

Messi the dog recently starred in the Oscar-nominated film Anatomy of a Fall and is currently stealing hearts in Hollywood. The talented pup attended the Oscars nominee luncheon and instantly became everyone’s favorite guest.

What breed is the dog in ‘Anatomy of a Fall’

Messi, who plays the character of Snoop in Anatomy of a Fall, is a seven-year-old Border Collie. He is characterized by distinguishing “eerie blue eyes” and his white-and-black fur.

The French drama film Anatomy of a Fall marked Messi’s debut in a significant role. The movie garnered five Academy Award nominations, notably for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress. In addition, it is now a part of the Criterion Collection.

Messi’s portrayal as a guide dog for a blind child left viewers astonished, propelling him to canine celebrity status. 

Additionally, the Border Collie clinched the Palm Dog Award at Cannes in 2023. It is a prestigious accolade hailed by his trainer, Laura Martin Contini, as the pinnacle of recognition in the realm of cinema dog training. Now, some of Messi’s admirers are advocating for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to establish the Pawscar.

Every film featuring a dog aims to portray them as authentically responding to the characters, allowing them to seamlessly blend into their surroundings. It’s natural for dogs to do so, but achieving this effect in movies demands meticulous preparation for every action. Whether lying down or eagerly chasing after a ball (Messi’s favorite), the trainer must ensure the dog is camera-ready for their moment in the spotlight.

In Messi’s case, he was fortunate to be trained by Martin Contini, who did an impeccable job. Contini said in an interview with IndieWire, “Even the simplest things take a lot of work.” Moreover, complex scenes, such as the moment when Snoop is poisoned, require meticulous construction.

Does the dog die in ‘Anatomy of a Fall’

As a relief to dog lovers, Snoop doesn’t die. However, the dog character almost loses his life in a scene in Anatomy of a Fall. 

The film features Sandra Hüller portraying a writer who faces a murder trial when her husband falls to his death from their remote mountain chalet’s window. Pivotal witnesses are Daniel, the couple’s 11-year-old son, and Daniel’s guide dog, Snoop, whose remarkable perceptiveness toward the unfolding human drama is uncanny. 

The climax of the film centers on a scene where Snoop is poisoned and nearly succumbs to death. He delivered a performance so authentic that it stunned audiences with the animal’s acting prowess.

As it turns out, Messi and Contini dedicated two months to daily training sessions. In Contini’s words, “It had to happen in steps. First, the simple laying down and having his head kind of immobile. [I] started there and then [worked on] lifting the head and just letting it fall back without resistance.”

Justine Triet, director of the film, shared on a podcast, “I didn’t want to look at [Snoop] like an accessory.” Continuing, she added, “He’s a real character. At the same time, he’s kind of a ghost of Samuel, and he’s the gaze of Daniel because Daniel couldn’t see, and the dog, of course, can see, but he can’t talk.”

The actor dog has come a long way. He traveled from France to Hollywood in business class to aid in Anatomy of a Fall’s Best Picture campaign. At the Oscars luncheon, Messi became popular with his best trick: playing dead. Furthermore, he interacted with the likes of Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Billie Eilish and received a lot of love.

The post All About the Dog in ‘Anatomy of a Fall’ appeared first on DogTime.

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