When the culture at large grants athletic adoration to women, it is often of a temporary, fleeting kind directed toward teen-age American sweethearts at the Olympics. Williams has never been America’s sweetheart. […] The failure to fully appreciate her importance is perhaps evidence of our inability to appreciate the stubbornly unfamiliar narrative arc of her career. Williams is underloved because, at times, she has been unlovable and, in the end, mostly unrepentant about it
Maiming and death are just as central to Anderson’s vision of things as are all the precise costumes that his characters wear. Misfortune comes just as suddenly to dogs as it does to humans. By including the beloved dog in this condition of life, he reminds us that no one is safe. […] Another way to look at it is that these dogs are most often punished as collateral damage of the moral and practical ineptitude of adults.