Country: Sweden
Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Anton Glanzelius, Tomas von Bromssen, Anki Liden, Melinda Kinnaman, Lief Ericson

The laughs come as regularly as the thought-provoking sentiments in My Life as a Dog, a profoundly immersive coming-of-age film anchored by a stellar performance from then-11-year-old, first-time actor Anton Gianzelius. He plays Ingemar, an odd little boy with an absentee dad and a mother who's dying from tuberculosis; as Ingemar's rambunctious antics continually worsen his mom's condition, she sends him to live with his uncle.

My Life as a Dog tackles the theme of childhood wonder from a predominantly morbid point-of-view; throughout the film, Ingemar is exposed to the inevitability of death, yet, with the young actor's precociousness and surprisingly intelligence always in check, Gianzelius' performance emits joyfulness. Credit the vitality of youth.