$9.99 is a stop motion animated movie by Tatia Rosenthal, based on short stories by Etgar Keret (who also wrote the script) and starring the voices of Geoffrey Rush and Anthony LaPaglia. Again, I saw it during the Anilogue Festival in Vienna.
The movie is about the various inhabitants of an apartment home in Sidney. Dave (Samuel Johnson) is 28, unemployed and still lives with his father Jim (Anthony LaPaglia). When he sees an ad for a book explaining the meaning of life for only 9.99, he buys it. Unfortunately, nobody wants to listen to him explain it all. Meanwhile his brother Lenny (Ben Mendelsohn) falls in love with the model (Leeanna Walsman) moving into the building, while a boy called Zack (Jamie Katsamatsas) falls in love with his piggy bank. Ron (Joel Edgerton), on the other hand, gets visited by two inch tall guys after his girlfriend (Claudia Karvan) breaks up with him. In another flat, retiree Albert (Barry Otto) is incredibly lonely until he is visited by a rather bitter Angel (Geoffrey Rush).
I quite liked $9.99. It has no big revelations, it’s not going to make any best of the decade lists, probably, but it’s sweet, has a fine sense of humour and is nicely absurd. The design of the characters and the set was especially good.
The strongest scene of the movie is the opening: Jim, a businessman, is apporoached by a homeless man asking for a dollar for a cup of coffee. Jim doesn’t really want to give him any money, so they start to have a discussion until the homeless man pulls a gun and threatens to shoot himself if he doesn’t get the coffee. Anthony LaPaglia and Geoffrey Rush are pitch-perfect in this scene (and in general) and their animated faces are incredibly expressive.
In general, for me, Geoffrey Rush’ story line was the strongest of the film.
I quite liked the other stories as well, though. I guess you have to like absurdities and surrealities (which I do) to enjoy them. But I don’t think that comes as a surprise in a movie where Geoffrey Rush is cast as an angel.
Anyway, it really made me want to check out Etgar Keret’s short stories myself.
Not much more to say. It’s nice, even if it suffers a little from “inconsequentiality”. Perfect movie for a rainy sunday afternoon.