Favorite

$9.99 

A dozen lives get mashed together in this claymation dramedy

click to enlarge 41_999.jpg

The title of this feature from Tatia Rosenthal, adapted from the short stories of Etgar Keret, refers to the price of a mail-order book purporting to explain life that one character orders.  Needless to say, the slim volume is something of a bust, and viewers shouldn't expect much more fresh illumination despite the film's eagerness to help. But while the take-away messages are familiar (embrace life, be true to yourself, grow up, etc.), $9.99 is entertaining. The lives of 12 residents of an apartment building are interwoven, with the narrative seamlessly flitting from the unemployed cook to the lonely little boy to the sad widower to the visiting cranky angel and so on. The story is set in an unnamed Australian city, and Geoffrey Rush and Anthony LaPaglia are among the well-known natives who lend their voices. The pace is brisk – the film is only 78 minutes -- and there's enough wry humor and slightly surreal moments to keep the viewer engaged. The claymation is purposefully rough-edged, but in this age of digital animation, a feature-length, stop-motion work is a labor of love. Starts Fri., Oct. 16. Harris

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