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From Academy Award®-nominated director Lasse Hallström (2000, The Cider House Rules) comes HACHI: A DOG’S TALE, a film based on one of the crucial treasured and heartwarming true stories ever told. Golden Globe winner Richard Gere (2002, Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, Chicago) stars as Professor Parker Wilson, a distinguished scholar who discovers a lost Akita puppy on his way home from work. Despite initial objections from Wilson’s wife, Cate (Academy Award® nominee Joan Allen – 2000, Best Actress, The Contender), Hachi endears himself into the Wilson family and grows to be Parker’s loyal companion. As their bond grows deeper, a beautiful relationship unfolds embodying the true spirit of family and loyalty, whilst inspiring the hearts of an entire town.
Based on a true story from Japan, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale is a moving film about loyalty and the rare, invincible bonds that every now and then form almost instantaneously in the most unlikely places. College professor Parker Wilson (Richard Gere) finds a young Akita puppy that’s been abandoned at the local train station, and he’s instantly captivated by the dog. Assuming the dog’s owner will return to the train station to claim him in the morning, Parker takes the puppy home overnight. But when no one comes to get the dog, Parker convinces his wife, Cate (Joan Allen), to welcome him as a part of the family. He dubs the puppy Hachiko–Hachi, for short–on account of the Japanese symbol for good luck that’s hanging from his collar. Hachi is a rather strange dog that refuses to learn how to fetch or master other people-pleasing tricks, but he is a faithful companion and friend to Parker, alerting him of potential dangers and accompanying him to the train station each morning and meeting him there after his return shuttle each evening. An unforeseen event will continually test Hachi’s devotion. This film is neither overwrought nor sappy; it is heartfelt and immensely powerful despite its tendency to drag in a couple of places. Prepare to be moved to tears by this beautiful, seemingly simple film–it’s about so much more than just the relationship between a man and his dog. –Tami Horiuchi