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The basic story follows the formation and fruition of a simple friendship. Devon (astounding newcomer Mischa Barton) is a 10-year-old girl born to glamour magazine identikit parents who live in the plush US suburban Camelot Gardens Estate. Trent (Sam Rockwell) is a 20-something lawnmower man whom everyone considers trash and who lives in a forest trailer. As secret friends they fill the holes in one another's lives. She has no other friends because she thinks "other kids smell like TV". It's all perfectly sweet and innocent. But naturally there's no way the uptight neighbourhood would perceive it that way. A creeping sense of doom begins to overtake events; but it is where this seemingly obvious tale twists at the end that makes the community's darker quirks a revelation.
On the DVD: Lawn Dogs on disc comes in a 16:9 transfer that retains the superb cinematography of endlessly stretching flat horizons. The three-channel sound is equally of benefit to a subtle bluesy score. Regrettably the only extra is a trailer. As a winner at numerous International Film Festivals, this picture really deserved something more. --Paul Tonks