Friday, June 19, 2009

N.Y. Times praises new claymation movie that includes a homeless man/angel

A new claymation film, titled $9.99, got a rave review today in the New York Times online. A central character is a sinister homeless man who turns into a grumpy and sarcastic angel, pictured above (yeah, yeah, he's the guy with wings), who is voiced by Geoffrey Rush.

The Times review tells us the story in the movie is both "elusive and strange."
To watch [the film, by Israeli writer Etgar Keret] is to enter an eerily realistic parallel universe where people and emotions are at once perfectly recognizable and completely bizarre.
You can view the trailer with clips from the film at the Times website.

More from the review about the film:

The gestures and expressions of these handmade citizens of a meticulously realized city are given more poignancy by the slight hesitancy imposed by stop-motion animation. They seem to be pausing to think before each action or utterance, even when they are being rash, heedless or irrational.

And the environment around them is dense with meaning and full of life. Both large structures — parks, buildings, streetscapes and rooms — and tiny objects like bottle caps and coins have been modeled with exquisite, almost compulsive care.

Indeed, Ms. Rosenthal’s work is so scrupulous and unassuming that after a while you might begin to take it for granted and to allow astonishment at the film’s visual texture to give way to impatience with its story.

And impatience may be among the responses that Mr. Keret, who wrote the screenplay, intends. His work proceeds from the recognition that life is tedious and confusing as well as, occasionally, charmed.

The film currently has an 85% Fresh rating from the webspace Rotten Tomatoes.

The movie is opening today in limited release. It is not yet out in Sacramento.

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