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Laramie Movie Scope:

78-minute eccentric stop-motion clay animation on the meaning of life

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by Patrick Ivers, Film Critic
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(2008) As Jim Peck (voiced by Anthony LaPaglia) attempts to wave down a taxi outside his apartment building in Sydney, Australia, a homeless man (voiced by Geoffrey Rush), holding a pistol, begs for a cigarette and a dollar for a cup of coffee, threatening to shoot himself if he doesn't get what he wants. Jim gives the bum a cigarette, but refuses to be further manipulated.

"In life you don't always get what you want," says Clement (voiced by Brian Meegan), who bribes his son Zack (voiced by Jamie Katsamatsas) into drinking his milk with coin deposits into a piggy bank toward purchase of an action figure kicking a soccer ball. Zack names the piggy Kweller after Albert Kweller (voiced by Barry Otto), an elderly widower in the building, who tries to tell stories to people who haven't time to listen, such as Michelle (voiced by Claudia Karvan), crying in the lift as she leaves her immature boyfriend Ron (voiced by Joel Edgerton) on her way to school where Zack is a student in her class.

In the café she briefly makes acquaintance with Lenny Peck (voiced by Ben Mendelsohn), who works for Sammy, repossessing people's possessions. Lenny brings his unemployed (can't even get a job in telemarketing) 28-year-old younger brother Dave (voiced by Samuel Johnson) along on an assignment to remove the belongs of Marcus Portman (voiced by Roy Billing), known as Marcus Pokus the magician.

Living with his father Jim (whose wife ran off, leaving him to raise his two sons alone), Dave receives the booklet he'd ordered for $9.99, The Meaning of Life, from a catalog. "Think first," an advertisement featuring supermodel Tanita Sparks (voiced by Leeanna Walsman) on a billboard flashes (before having your bones removed for love) in this 78-minute eccentric stop-motion clay animation (including frontal nudity and fornication) from director Tatia Rosenthal, co-written with Etgar Keret, based on the latter's short stories, "'cause you don't get a second chance."

Dave asks Jim, feeling he's been a failure as a father and a husband: "Don't you ever ask yourself about life?" In the flat, Ron, despondent over losing Michelle, smokes pot and drinks beer with his miniature friends - Drazen, Stanton, and Bisley. The depressed homeless guy, displaying his wings and cursing, pays a visit to Albert listening to the conclusion of a religious program on GOD radio: "I want something exciting to happen."

When Dave tries to explain the meaning of life ("It's so simple") to his brother on the way to see Tanita, Lenny replies: "Hear it? I'm on my way to meet it." In her phone surveys for Quick-Pulse, Camille (voiced by Ursula Yovich) gets into a conversation with Dave, telling him what a horrible job she has. Asked about heaven and if he'll find his wife there, the homeless guy tells Albert its like the Sunshine Coast but doubtful about reuniting with a spouse since all he received were "a pair of wings and some perspective."

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2012 Patrick Ivers. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Patrick Ivers can be reached via e-mail at nora's email address at juno. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)