#35. It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012)
Directed by: Don Hertzfeldt
Written by: Don Hertzfeldt
Starring: Don Hertzfeldt, Sara Cushman
It’s Such a Beautiful Day is a collection of three inter-connected minimalist animated stories by American independent animator Don Hertzfeldt. The three films are entitled Everything Will Be OK (2006), I Am So Proud of You (2007), and the titular It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2011), which capped off the story and saw Hertzfeldt combine the three into a full-length feature in 2012. The story of It’s Such a Beautiful Day follows a man named Bill, who has been experienced memory loss and hallucinations as a result of a mysterious illness he has been stricken with. Bill’s family history of mental illness is chronicled, as is Bill’s own daily life, and his own eventual struggle with illness and his inevitable death. Hertzfeldt’s film is the only animated movie on my list, and for good reason – it’s a soul destroying, darkly humorous, and heart wrenching piece of beautiful art that everybody should see at least once. It’s Such a Beautiful Day features Don Hertzfeldt’s trademark absurd sense of humor, surrealism, and an incredibly poignant take on dealing with one’s own mortality – one that I can admit I wasn’t ready to see at the time. It’s a difficult and exhausting experience, but is well worth the time and energy if only for Hertzfeldt’s unique animation styles and method of storytelling, both of which help to make this film a masterpiece. The character of Bill is incredibly easy to sympathize with, especially since we as the audience know more about his current perilous situation. Watching a character slowly lose their mind and everything that makes them unique is a trying experience, but one that is incredibly original, and deeply profound. I can’t recommend It’s Such a Beautiful Day to anybody who isn’t ready for the emotional punch that it packs, but I can with all honesty say that it may change your life.