VIDEO: The trailer for $9.99
In this Israeli-Australian production, Sydney apartment dwellers culled from stories by Etgar Keret pursue (or avoid) various duties and desires, intersecting in elevator encounters. Director Tatia Rosenthal's inspiration was to populate the proceedings with animated 3-D figures; her cerebral, darkly funny film is a feat of stop-motion rumination.
It begins with a prickly exchange in which a panhandler (voiced by Geoffrey Rush) threatens to shoot himself if passer-by Jim (Anthony LaPaglia) doesn't give him coffee money. But his suicide affects the victim — who becomes a cantankerous guardian angel to retiree Albert (Barry Otto) — less than the witness. Jim's introspective arc is balanced by the humorous story of his son, who in fulfilling his desire to sleep with a model surrenders body parts and soul.
$9.99 (the price of a mail-order book on the meaning of life) gives you your money's worth with its attention to detail, from the realistically animated expressions of the "actors" to the décor and the possessions that surround, and define, them.