Movie review: Hertzfeldt's 'Beautiful Day' a surreal take on mortality

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Animator Don Hertzfeldt explores life and death, and the alternatives to both, in the surreal and haunting "It's Such a Beautiful Day."

Actually, it's three films, stringing together his shorts (the 2006 Sundance winner "Everything Will Be OK," the 2008 follow-up "I Am So Proud of You" and the 2011 conclusion that gives the compilation its name) about Bob. He's a sad stick-figure character who deals with loneliness, a lingering health problem, recovery and relapse — all while contemplating his life, his departed mother and the absence of a companion to ease his sorrow.

Hertzfeldt's simple drawings, evocative imagery and melancholy narration come together most beautifully in the finale, which suggests that the end of life isn't as bad as an unending one.

Lest this seem too depressing, Hertzfeldt opens the show with a laugh: his absurdly gross faux-Swedish 2010 short "Wisdom Teeth."; —


'It's Such a Beautiful Day'

Opens Friday, Nov. 9, at the Tower Theatre; not rated, but probably PG-13 for language and animated depictions of sexuality and violence; 70 minutes.