$9.99 (2008) Poster

$9.99 (2008)

  • Rate: 6.6/10 total 1,632 votes 
  • Genre: Animation | Drama
  • Release Date: 29 April 2009 (France)
  • Runtime: 78 min
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$9.99 (2008)


999 2008tt0790799.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: $9.99 (2008)
  • Rate: 6.6/10 total 1,632 votes 
  • Genre: Animation | Drama
  • Release Date: 29 April 2009 (France)
  • Runtime: 78 min
  • Filming Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Gross: $52,107(USA)(17 January 2010)
  • Director: Tatia Rosenthal
  • Stars: Josef Ber, Roy Billing and Tom Budge
  • Original Music By: Christopher Bowen   
  • Soundtrack: Head Swerve
  • Plot Keyword: Stop Motion | Money In Title | Advertisement | Adult Animation | Meaning Of Life

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Etgar Keret  screenplay
  • Etgar Keret  short stories
  • Tatia Rosenthal  screenplay

Known Trivia

    Plot: A stop-motion animated story about people living in a Syndey apartment complex looking for meaning in their lives.  »

    Story: A stop-motion animated story about people living in a Syndey apartment complex looking for meaning in their lives.


    Synopsis: $9.99 is an animated feature film which offers slightly less than a $10 worth about the meaning of life.

    Have you ever wondered What is the meaning of life? Why do we exist? The answer to this vexing question is now within your reach! Youll find it in a small yet amazing booklet, which will explain; in easy to follow; simple terms your reason for being! The booklet, printed on the finest paper, contains illuminating, exquisite colour pictures, and could be yours for a mere $9.99.

    This is the ad that alters the life of the unemployed, 28 year old who still lives at home, Dave Peck. In his struggle to share his find with the world, Daves surreal path crosses with those of his unusual neighbours: an old man and his disgruntled guardian angel, a magician in debt, a bewitching woman who likes her men extra smooth, a broken hearted man who befriends a group of hard partying two inch tall students, and a little boy who sets his piggy bank free. Their stories are woven together, examining the post-modern meaning of hope.

    $9.99 is a stop motion puppet animation film, based on the short stories of Etgar Keret, one of the leading voices in Israeli contemporary literature. It is written by writer Etgar Keret and director Tatia Rosenthal, who also collaborated on Tatia Rosenthals two award winning short puppet animation films "Crazy Glue" and "A Buck’s Worth"

    This comical stop motion animation explores the meaning of life, offering slightly less than $10 worth of explanation. Through playful puppetry Israeli author Etgar Kerets surreal short stories are brought to life, featuring the voices of Geoffrey Rush and Anthony LaPaglia.


    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Mechele Axford known as associate producer
    • Richard Clendinnen known as line producer
    • Amir Harel known as producer
    • Emile Sherman known as producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Josef Ber
    • Roy Billing known as Marcus Portman / Policeman A
    • Tom Budge known as Bisley
    • Joel Edgerton known as Ron
    • David Field known as Sammy
    • Leon Ford known as Stanton
    • Samuel Johnson known as Dave Peck
    • Claudia Karvan known as Michelle
    • Jamie Katsamatsas known as Zack
    • Anthony LaPaglia known as Jim Peck
    • Ben Mendelsohn known as Lenny Peck
    • Henry Nixon known as Drazen / beanbag / radio announcer (voice)
    • Barry Otto known as Albert
    • Geoffrey Rush known as Angel
    • Leeanna Walsman known as Tanita



    Supporting Department

    Art Department:
    • Phillip Beadsmoore known as puppetmaster
    • Shira Derman known as concept illustrator
    • Tony Drew known as senior model maker
    • Pia Dulu known as art department buyer attachment
    • Adam Grace known as set and props
    • Andrew Hardingham known as senior model maker
    • Simon S. Ingerson known as model maker
    • David Jolliffe known as senior model maker
    • Antony McMullen known as puppet props
    • Mac Nordling known as model maker
    • Thomas Perry known as model maker
    • Jane Shadbolt known as graphic designer




    Production Companies:

    • Lama Films
    • Australian Film Finance Corporation (AFFC)

    Other Companies:

    • Murphy PR  publicity
    • Reeltime Creative  advertising agency (Trailers, Posters, Websites)


    • Regent Releasing (2009) (USA) (theatrical)
    • E1 Entertainment (2010) (USA) (DVD)
    • Maximum Film Distribution (2009) (Canada) (theatrical)
    • Maximum Films (2009) (Canada) (theatrical)
    • Memento Films (2009) (France) (theatrical)
    • Zon Lusomundo Audiovisuais (2009) (Portugal) (theatrical)
    • Koch Vision (2010) (USA) (DVD)



    Other Stuff

    Special Effects:

    • 10Fingers Design&Animation (post-production)

    Visual Effects by:

    • Yair Alony known as CG artist
    • Brent Armfield known as data wrangler
    • Sara Barak known as digital compositor
    • Hava Cohen known as digital compositor
    • Sam Cole known as vfx pipeline r&d: FUEL International
    • Bruno DaDog known as runner: visual effects
    • Ram Efron known as digital compositor
    • Alon Feuerstein known as digital compositor
    • Eddie Gavriely known as head of digital post-production
    • Meny Hilsenrad known as CG artist
    • Liran Kaminer known as digital compositor
    • Tal Korjak known as visual effect supervisor
    • Vladimir Loginov known as CG artist
    • Andrey Lutsker known as CG artist
    • An Nguyen known as scan pipeline engineer: FUEL VFX
    • Avri Olschwang known as digital compositor
    • Dror Revach known as CG artist
    • Merav Shacham known as title designer
    • Simon Shor known as digital compositing and animation
    • Ben Stern known as CG artist
    • Libby Tishler known as post production producer
    • Libby Tishler known as post-production coordinator
    • Shimy Viskovsky known as studio manager

    Release Date:

    • Canada 4 September 2008 (Toronto International Film Festival)
    • Italy 23 October 2008 (Rome Film Festival)
    • Germany 7 February 2009 (European Film Market)
    • Hong Kong 23 March 2009 (Hong Kong International Film Festival)
    • Turkey 15 April 2009 (Istanbul Film Festival)
    • Denmark 18 April 2009 (CPHPIX Festival)
    • France 29 April 2009
    • USA 19 June 2009 (limited)
    • Poland 24 July 2009 (ERA New Horizons Film Festival)
    • Russia 13 August 2009
    • Australia 17 September 2009
    • Hungary 26 November 2009 (Anilogue)
    • Portugal 7 January 2010
    • Canada 23 February 2010 (DVD premiere)
    • USA 23 February 2010 (DVD premiere)

    MPAA: Rated R for language and brief sexuality and nudity



    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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    Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , .


    1. Joe Stemme (gortx) from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 9:40 pm

      The U.S. is dominant at the world box office for animated films, withPixar at the top of the top of that particular food chain. And, Japanpaces the planet for sheer volume of animated movies.

      So, who woulda thunk that not one, not two, but THREE of the moreinteresting animated features of the past couple of years would comeout of the Middle East?? First, the Iranian filmmaker working inFrance, Marjane Satrapi made the superlative PERSEPOLIS — and, withthis past week's events, it's worth revisiting for it shows some of theseeds of rebellion that has lead to the protest marches. Then, camelast year's Foreign Language film nominee, WALTZ WITH BASHIR out ofIsrael.

      Now, there's $9.99, made by another Israeli, this time working out ofAustralia – Tatia Rosenthal. $9.99 got a brief, ill-fated Oscarqualifying run in December in NYC and L.A.. It is now back in those twocities before, hopefully, opening wider across the country. *(see Oscarrant below)

      $9.99 is a well done claymation feature which weaves some short storiesby writer Etgar Keret into an entertaining composite story centeringaround an "angel" and how he interacts with the inhabitants of unnamedsmall city. Don't expect a strict narrative and some of its bestmoments are just that – moments in time. It has a bit of thehallucinatory effect of Richard Linklater's animated features – SCANNERDARKLY and, especially, WAKING LIFE. Really hard to describe becausethe plotting is so loose that to give away many details both ruins theeffect, and don't do the film justice. Best to let its brief 78 minutesjust wash over you.

      The Claymation (augmented with CGI) is interestingly done, with anoddly effective sculptured look to the characters. Australiansincluding Geoffrey Rush as the Angel and Anthony LaPaglia head up asolid voice cast. And, this must be the year of animated male member.First, there was the big blue meanie in WATCHMAN, and now, a clay onehere. Yes, this is an R-rated film – also, for some language, clay-sexand drug use.

      * Oscar Rant. As noted, $9.99 played for a week in NYC and L.A. inorder to qualify for the Animation Oscar category. So, not only didn't$9.99 not get a nomination, neither did WALTZ WITH BASHIR. But, BOLTdid!?? The members of the Animation branch should be utterlyembarrassed. What?!! Did these two films split the Israeli animationvote? Of course, animators in Hollywood further humiliated themselvesby voting for the lite-weight KUNG FU PANDA over WALL-E at their Annieawards (in fact, a near sweep of their many categories).

    2. vic-232 from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 9:40 pm

      One character in this beautifully crafted film buys a book entitled"The Meaning of Life." While we never discover exactly what that bookcontains, "$9.99" peruses questions about life's meaning with poignancyand affection. It's sad, silly, very human characters are people weknow, and real enough so that we might occasionally forget we arewatching animation.

      This is not a film for the young — there is no "action," no "romance,"and little to make a viewer laugh out loud. Rather, we are offered awryly comic look at human nature, best suited for those who have livedenough of life so as to be able to identify with the film'spathetically flawed characters, and look on them with affection ratherthan impatience or contempt.

      Human beings, the filmmakers suggest, are rarely able to communicatewith other human beings, even to express love to those they love most.They are even less likely to fulfill each other's hopes andexpectations. It is a pessimistic outlook, to be sure, and ratherdepressing — but, in the end, we are left with the message that lovenot only is possible, it is the only thing that gives life any meaningat all. Love — crazy, misguided, or bizarre as it may be — is all thatmatters.

    3. howgoldenboi from New Zealand
      30 Mar 2012, 9:40 pm

      I was so surprised to see so many negative reviews for this moviebecause I thought it was absolutely brilliant!

      Some people found the animation ugly whereas the movement seemed verysmooth to me and the realistic expression and emotion they were able toportray with clay faces astounded me! The claymation style was toorealistic for me at first, not cartoon-y enough, which gave the movie avery creepy disturbing feel. There are a lot of reds and purples usedin the faces that can make the characters seem sickly, but you come torealise that this is a stylistic choice that makes the faces morevaried and more like pieces of art than just moving toys. Art issupposed to disturb the comfortable anyhow and this movie does it verywell.

      I have also heard the movie be critiqued for its jumpy, disconnectedplot (it is based on a collection of short stories) whereas I felt thatthe thematic connections were strong enough that this movie very muchfelt like a unified whole. The characters are connected by theapartment complex they share and by the kinds of lives they lead andthe kinds of problems they face in the plot.

      I loved the dialogue in this movie, one of those great works wheresubtle, very real moments and shifts in relationships are defined bythe idiosyncratic way a line is worded in a conversation betweencharacters. I was wrapped entirely in every conversation and each lineseemed to carry so much meaning (in a light-hearted kind of way).

      The stores range from touching, sweet and hopeful to disturbing anddepressing send-ups of life in a post-modern age. You really can takefrom this what you want- but not because the filmmakers have made ideasvague and unfleshed, but because they have taken so many ideas andfleshed them out in so many different and unexpected ways that you havea whole smorgasboard of meaning to pick, choose, riff on, dissect,abstract and so on.

      I don't want to hype it too much because I think part of my love forthis movie was due to similarities I have with some characters and howconnected this made me feel but please don't dismiss this movie,because it is definitely something very special!

    4. MisterWhiplash from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 9:40 pm

      $9.99 came and went from theaters, but it sticks out very nicely on OnDemand, which is where I ultimately saw the little 70-minute claymationmovie (I could say stop-motion animated, which it is, but it is verymuch in the clay tradition of practically being able to see thefingerprints on the characters' bodies and faces). It's about… Isuppose how to live a life, I suppose, and that's emphasized by thebook that keeps popping up periodically in the film- which you can buyfor $9.99 (in the movie, not in real life, I think anyway)- that tellswhat the Meaning of Life is… that is, it gives a lot of other offersfor books on how to deal with this or that in life. It almost lookslike a coupon book, which is a shame since the character who is most inlove with it, a nice kid, seems very much engrossed by it.

      But the title of Tatia Rosenthal's film is more like rounding offreality, perhaps. It's not a full $10, but the characters do try tomake that price in their lives. To put it another way, no one characterin this film is quite happy, but they keep trying, and maybe life willhave some meaning when they can attain some happiness – or not, as casemight be. Rosenthal's film, based on short stories Etgar Keret, focuson a group of people who have some, um, quirks to them, or are justpainfully normal. The film begins with a middle-aged businessmanturning down a homeless man a dollar for a coffee, and the homeless guypulls out a gun and shoots himself. He later returns as an Angel andhangs out with an old guy on his porch, smoking cigarettes andwondering what Heaven is like. The businessman's sons: one is theMeaning of Life book-reader, and the other is a repo man who falls hardfor a sexy (as sexy as claymation can be) model, and proceeds to shavehis whole body with hair – and then takes a cue from the organ-less menwho removed their body parts until they were heads and blobs. All forlove, I guess.

      Other stories are a little more ordinary, more or less. More: a littleboy is told by his father to put away fifty cents in his piggy bank sohe can save up to buy a toy, but he finds that he grows attached to thepiggy bank, who he names, and finds the piggy's smile very comforting("I put money in, he smiles, I don't put money in… he smiles!").Less: a guy whose girl really wants to settle down and marry and havekids and all of that, but finds that he would rather spend time in hisroom, listening to records with his three little "friends", little menala Gulliver's Travels, and getting wasted on beer and pot. So thestories are mostly by themselves, but intertwine by certain events(such as the Angel doing a test "fly" off of the patio and witheveryone else looking out the window), or by thematic context.

      The stories have a lot of humor to them, with one-liners that zing ("Ifound that there's not one meaning to life, there's six!"), and thelook of the film feels similar but is original in its own right ofcharacter design and approach (and, for once, we get a rated-Rclaymation movie, including full frontal nudity!), but it also goes fordeep moments and resonance, and Rosenthal strikes some good groundhere. She doesn't try and over-do the messages, but lets them speak forthemselves through the stories. It's genuinely odd, but it also givesheart-felt scenes and passages, such as the little boy with the piggybank (the end of his story with the bank is quite touching), and itvalues the power of human responsibility with fantasy in equal measure.If it were a little longer it might really be something great, but asit stands it's a curious little find.

    5. K.Sahasranaman from Mumbai, India
      30 Mar 2012, 9:40 pm

      A man steps out of an apartment block and is accosted by a vagrant whopulls out a gun and politely requests for a dollar to buy a cup ofcoffee. The man refuses saying he is feeling manipulated and thevagrant promptly shoots himself. Yes, kills himself! This is thestunningly surreal opening sequence of the film. This stop motionanimation film is populated with more such oddballs. . There is a drugaddict who has for his buddies three Lilliputians straight out ofGulliver's World. We have a supermodel who likes her men so smooth thatshe can tolerate neither hair nor bones on their body. There is alittle kid who gets a coin every time he drinks milk, which he saves ina piggybank; yet when it gets full does not have the heart to break it.

      The one common thread that binds these disparate characters staying inthe same apartment block is their deep melancholy. They are bored bythe monotony of their lives and are in search of a meaning. We canreadily empathise with these characters despite the comic book feel ofthe film.

      The film takes a dig at the self help books available for $9.99.Despite shot in vivid colours, this is a grim film asking someuncomfortable questions about the meaning of life and happiness. Thefilm ends on a positive note though with two of its characters teachingthemselves to swim like a dolphin from a self help book. They havemanaged to discover their happiness. A fairy tale for today'sgrown-ups.

      The animation is a treat for the eyes

    6. Rectangular_businessman from Peru
      30 Mar 2012, 9:40 pm

      I really liked this adult-aimed Australian animated film. The humor andthe mood was somewhat dark and cynical, but I still enjoyed a lotseeing this movie, mostly because of the animation, which is quitedetailed and well made. Unlike other stop- motion animated films, thecharacters aren't cartoonish, but are portrayed in a realistic way,something that contrast with the surreal and strange situations. Themovie keeps a very interesting tone from beginning to end and all thecharacters are unique and interesting. Geoffrey Rush made a great voiceperformance as the "angel" and the rest of the cast made a wonderfulwork as well. This movie deserves more appreciation and recognition. Ihighly recommend it.

    7. DICK STEEL from Singapore
      30 Mar 2012, 9:40 pm

      Personally I dig stop-motion animation, for the simple conscious factthat there's a lot of blood and sweat going on behind the scenes justto get an object to move. You can imagine what it takes to get acharacter to move an arm, and you extrapolate that effort into afeature length film with a lot more things happening concurrently onscreen, and you're likely to appreciate this artform a lot more, withnew found respect for it.

      $9.99 is an amazing piece of stop-motion animation coupled with atremendously engaging story made up of multiple narrative threads, anda myriad of characters attempting to tackle their respective problemsin life. It begins with a bang literally, where a homeless man(Geoffrey Rush) with a gun in hand, asks Jim Peck (Anthony LaPaglia)for a cigarette and a light, before launching into some really clevermoments about manipulation. It's an excellent start to jolt you intorealizing that this film isn't just another walk in the park, and as itplays on, you'd discover its brilliance in its commentary about life,as seen from the experiences of the residents in an apartment block.

      We have a family of three, with Jim who might just need his karmachecked for encountering really antagonizing moments involving death,and his two sons Dave (Samuel Johnson) and Lenny (Ben Mendelsohn), theformer being unemployed and is found to be central to the narrative,and the latter being a Repo-man finding himself falling, and obsessingover the love by new neighbour and supermodel Tanita (Leeanna Walsman),who has a fetish for a hairless body. Then there's a lonely old man whofinds the world contents passing him by with nobody interested inhearing him talk a bit (well, because he's long-winded as well),finding a companion in an angel, whom he asks incessantly about Heaven.Then there's a boy who has a friend in his piggy bank, and a couple onthe verge of being married having to fall out because one of themrefuses to grow up.

      The "$9.99" comes from the price of a catalog of books, one of whichtouts to hold The Meaning of Life which Dave buys. Unfortunately, thecharacters here seem to be caught up in living their own lives andfalling victim to respective challenges life presents itself, and soevery effort that Dave wants to share gets spurned, and we theaudience, unfortunately, don't get to hear if there are any insights tothat. But of course we all know that there's no silver bullet, and thecharacters here, though the course of this emotionally moving film,learn of that meaning as it applies in their own, with the old mandetermined to take a more proactive approach, to a connection between afather and a son, to love found and running parallel to that, a lovebroken because of sacrifices that one has to make, or the lack thereof,and the maturing of a young child.

      I guess nobody scoffs at animation, especially one that targets themature audience – check out that Dr Manhatten moment. I've new foundrespect for stop-motion animation, and for the filmmakers involved inproducing this fine piece of work. The attention to detail isincredible, never at any moment hinting that they had cut some cornersand compromised quality. Definitely highly recommended, and easily oneof the few films I thoroughly enjoyed in the festival lineup.

    8. Rodrigo Amaro (rodrigo882008@hotmail.com) from São Paulo, Brazil
      30 Mar 2012, 9:40 pm

      "$9,99" is an animated feature about real people with real problems andperhaps real solutions, yet is a far more interesting portrayal ofhuman perspective of life than live action movies with real actors. Ithas some strange appearances of talking objects and tiny little personsand a "Angel" but it's a very impressive movie and his propositioncouldn't be better for the nowadays audience: What's the purpose oflife? If live has a purpose it can be bought or purchased by the priceof $9,99?

      Dave Peck (Samuel Johnson) is a young and unemployed guy who realizesthat his life hasn't a great purpose. He can't work with something hewould like to do and occasionally works along with his brother Lenny(Ben Mendelsohn) convicting people who doesn't pay their rent(something he doesn't like to work at) and lives with his old father(Anthony LaPaglia) in a apartment. One day Dave reads a catalog and init he discovers a book called "The Meaning of Life", and it costs$9,99. He goes forward and buys it. While reading he sees that arethings he can use to make his life and everyone's life a positivethings (the biggest disappointment here is that we never seen what's inthe book but we have a clue: there are six things that everyone reallyneeds, once again no answers).

      But it looks like no one wants to hear Dave. His father's still shockedwith a strange event where a homeless guy asked him for money to buy acup of coffee and then after his refuse the homeless shoot himself; hisbrother get involved in a bizarre love relationship with a famous model(Leeanna Walsman) where he does everything to work the way she wantseven she didn't ask for it (such as cut all his hair because she's toosensible to it). Along with these characters there are a little boy whodesperately wants a toy but instead his father teaches him a lesson andgives to the boy a piggy bank to save all the money he gets after drinkhis milk. But the boy end up having more affection for the smiling pigwith his savings. There's also the bored old man whose life is atedious thing until the appearance of an strange and ruthless angel(Geoffrey Rush) that tells him how Heaven is. The last character is aimmature young man in love by a girl but don't want to get married withher. He starts to take drugs and have conversations with some tinylittle and playful figures.

      What's the interesting thing here? This stop-motion animated film isnot concerned in show to its audience no kind of answers about themeaning of life but it has a more deeper focus on the things we don'tsaid, or don't heard and why happiness is in the little things. It'sabout change of perspective and with that you might get some meaning toyour life. Examples: Many of the characters are so much enclosed andlocked in their own worlds that they don't know the dangers surroundinghim. There's suicides and possible murderers risking their lives andother people's lives but something happens and their route is suddenlychanged here. Dave despite all the problems he has it's a good andpositive character. His sadness comes not only because he can't work bymaking polls by the phone but also because no one hears what he's gotto say. His desperation in to be heard make him buys another book (thesame $9,99 price) that can make him be a people that is heard byeveryone. The irony (yes it has lots of good humor here) is when thatbook isn't delivered because the publisher doesn't print that bookanymore and he's got his money back and another book about "how to swimlike a dolphin". This book reveals to be more powerful than the one hewanted to buy.

      I don't think I ever saw a more plausible and non downer film about howchanges are important in people's life and that life might have ameaning if you want it to have a meaning. Each person must finds hisown truths, sometimes we need help and other times we don't, butcertainly we need other people around us because that's what human raceis all about: help each other in the best way we can. The film isfilled with many thoughts and ideas, it's very easy to follow, in noway is a depressive thing despite it's subject and has more relevantthings to say than Disney's and DreamWorks's cartoons. It could be alittle bit more longer than it is, it makes you want more when it getscloser to the end. 10/10

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