Hertzfeldt will go down as one of the great animated filmmakers. Avant-garde techniques visualize the ephemera of memory and a crumbling psyche as Bill approaches his end. Then Hertzfeldt defies his own narrative arc with the greatest, most poignant fourth-wall breaking happy ending since THE LAST LAUGH. AND THEN he goes even further than Murnau in gently but agonizingly dismantling fictive immortality.
There is a strange and unique beauty to Don Hertzfeldt's melancholy and enchanting animated film populated by penciled stick figures, which follows the adventures of Ben, a sad young man who discovers he only has weeks to live. An oddly moving celebration of life in all of its odd, mundane, overlooked beauty, IT'S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY is a stunning small scale wonder.
The Bill Trilogy is a showcase of Don Hertzfeldt's strengths and talent as an experimental animator using every technique he's developed and more over decades of work. Basically consider it a combination of Rejected, Billy's Balloon, and The Meaning of Life, only exponentially better than all three multiplied. It also adds a level of sadness and seriousness to his work only previously hinted at.--PolarisDiB
In terms of theme and structure, something like the Divine Comedy of our age. What the divine quest entailed in Dante was being harrowed and transfigured by sacred visions and angels, for Hertzfeldt it's 'mental illness' and the disintegration of all structures of identity or personal meaning. Both artists conceived the path towards truth that appeared as most readily available to them, given the world they knew.
Easily the most profound and ethereal film I have seen all year. It transcends filmmaking and becomes a life itself. I became extremely attached to a stick figure and his experiences, his worldliness, and his suffering. Hertzfeldt has created a deeply moving piece that breathes fresh air into experimental filmmaking and offers a grand exploration of human psyche that is both complex and beautiful.
Brazen in it's simple style, the film's grip on mental illness and the humor/tragedy that can accompany it is sound. Alas, the final stretch doesn't flow well with the rest of the film and comes off as artistically cowardly. Self-realized ideas are best left to find their own end. The film still manages to feel narratively and stylistically refreshing as an animate film amongst the dozen CGI by number flicks.