Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
France/USA, 2012. Realitism Films, Arte France Cinema, Kinology, Love Streams Productions, Agnès b. Productions, Rubber Films, Backup Media, Arte France, Canal+, Cine Plus, Drafthouse Films, Iconoclast. Screenplay by Quentin Dupieux. Cinematography by Quentin Dupieux. Produced by Charles-Marie Anthonioz, Gregory Bernard, Nicolas Lhermitte. Production Design by Joan Le Boru. Costume Design by Jamie Redwood. Film Editing by Quentin Dupieux.
Jack Plotnick‘s alarm goes off at 7:60am, at which point he realizes his dog is missing and his jogging-obsessed neighbor, who insists he doesn’t jog, tells him he doesn’t know where it went. Plotnick goes to work, even though he was fired months ago, a place where the rain pours in torrents inside the office even though outside is bright and sunny. When he is contacted by a self-help zen master (William Fichtner) whom he is instructed to meet with in a forest, he is informed that his pet his been taken in an effort to help him love his dog more and appreciate him when he gets him back. Unfortunately, the dog has also been lost, which means that finding it takes our hero to the brink of his own sanity in this insane world, a place where people call a pizza parlour to discuss food without ordering it. This hypersurreal indulgence in topsy-turvydom gets points for a stark visual style and some clever conceits, but it is a conceit wrapped around an empty centre. If there is something to be revealed by its inventions I don’t know what they are, an aesthetic retread of the sort of thing Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman were doing years ago that amounts to a smug bag of tricks that is only worthwhile to see the fantastic Plotnick in a leading role.