Oscar Nominees Luncheon 2024: Dog from ‘Anatomy of a Fall’ grabs eyeballs

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Messi, the canine star of ‘Anatomy of a Fall,’ who played Snoop in the Oscar-nominated film, travelled from France to Los Angeles on Monday to attend the Academy Award Nominees Luncheon, his trainer Laura Martin Contini was cited by the People magazine. Messi was popular with other celebrities, including Ryan Gosling, who was captured on film waving to the dog during the luncheon. NEON, who distributed the film in the United States, also released a photo of Bradley Cooper with Messi.

The talented canine has been hailed as the star of the French courtroom drama. Justine Triet’s film, which she directed and co-wrote, revolves around Sandra Voyter (Sandra Huller), a well-known German novelist who is on trial in France for allegedly pushing her husband Samuel (Samuel Theis) to death. Their blind 11-year-old son Daniel (Milo Machado Graner) is caught in the centre of the tumultuous court process and media circus while simultaneously grieving over his father.

Daniel and his guide dog share a strong bond and are the only two witnesses to Samuel’s death. At the Oscars luncheon, Huller told Variety that she is still unsure whether her role was innocent, claiming that “the only innocent creature in the film is the dog.” Huller, 45, received a Best Actress nomination, while Treit, 45, received nominations for Best Director and Best Original Writing. The film received nominations for Best Picture and Best Editing.

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While Messi may not win an Oscar, he did receive an award at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. He got the Palm Dog Award, which recognizes canine performances in the festival’s selected films, as per People. After Messi accepted the award, Triet told The Hollywood Reporter that Messi’s character “was not just another character or some animal running around [but] as much a part of the film’s ensemble as any of the other actors.”

In another interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Huller expressed the same opinion, saying Snoop was “as much a character as any other,” and that the cast and crew were fortunate to work with Messi. “We had good luck this time to work with someone in the business who trains animals for the industry,” said Huller. “The lady [Laura Martin Contini] who owns Snoop was a really key person for us to allow him to be a character, really as much a part of the film’s ensemble as any of the other actors.”

Contini told The Wildest that Messi joined the set for 22 shoot days. “There was such a great team, and he was everyone’s favorite on set, and we really took the time on each of his scenes,” Conti said. She highlighted how Messi and Milo Machado Graner had to form a bond that communicated on film. “Even during the shoot, every time there was a break, they would be playing together,” said Contini.

“[Machado Graner] was specifically very invested in becoming close to the dog and taking care and playing with him, which is what Messi needs as a dog. He needs to be taken care of and to be given attention and playtime.”