Israeli filmmaker Tatia Rosenthal's adaptation of Etgar Keret's short stories is a refreshing and surprising, piece of stop-motion animation. This is not a children's tale, as from the opening scene where we see one of the characters trade coffee and cigarettes for bullets and blood.
One question: Does puppet nudity count for real nudity?
Not since Team America: World Police (2004) have I seen nudity among puppets and even sex between such animated figures. Unlike Barbie's Ken, Rosenthal's dolls are anatomically correct. Yes, you do see a puppet's penis, but it is with purpose.
There is a meaning to it. For all the animated figures, searching for a meaning to life is in fact their purpose. The focus is on eight of those figures, or rather four couples. They all live in a high-rise apartment building.
Two couples are fathers and sons. One couple is a romantic one where we get the aforementioned doll nudity. The other couple are two old men, one of which is already dead. That of course doesn't stop him from coming back. These couples search for the meaning to their lives, and, ironically, sometimes that takes death.
For some, it takes shaving their pubic hair and every other follicle on their body. For others, it takes learning how to swim like a dolphin. These are the range of absurd things that these characters undertake, but Rosenthal picks the right tone and really pulls it together.
Four Stars out of Five
Rated R for language, brief sexuality and nudity
Running Time: 1 hr. and 18 mins.