It's Such a Beautiful Day

Synopsis: Bill struggles to put together his shattered psyche, in this new feature film version of Don Hertzfeldt's animated short film trilogy.
Production: Independent Pictures
  2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
62 min

On the way to the bus stop,

Bill saw somebody he recognized

walking towards him, but he

couldn't remember his name.

He began to think of things

to say when they'd be

close enough

to acknowledge each other.

As they drew nearer,

their eyes locked,

uncertain if the other

was gonna stop to talk.

The person greeted Bill

as Bill mixed up the phrases

"What's up" with

"How's it going?"

Confused, the person

blurted out "Thanks"

before he knew

what he was saying.

Words caught in Bill's throat

and he replied, "Weh."

They did a sort of

awkward half turn,

and then continued on

now confident

that the other was not gonna

stop to talk.

They never saw each other again,

and a day later had each

forgotten the whole thing.

Later that night, Bill sat down

and put on a big sweater,

but it only made him sleepy.

In the supermarket,

Bill was always very careful

to select fruit from only

the back of the produce piles,

as the fruit in the front

was at crotch level

to the other customers.

An old man who smelled of

gasoline held up an onion

and said, "Big onion,"

to no one in particular.

He smiled at Bill

and Bill looked at his socks.

At the checkout counter,

Bill found himself

behind a big guy

whose T-shirt read,

"Second Place

is the First Loser."

The checkout girl said,

"How are you doing today?"

Bill said, "Fine, thanks,

how are you?"

She didn't answer.

Bill felt used.

As he waited for his next bus,

Bill stared at

a torn shopping bag

that was blowing in the wind

on the end of a broken pole

and anxiously sucked blood

out of a sore

in the corner of his mouth.

(men singing opera)

Bill dropped his keys

on the counter

and stood there

staring at them,

suddenly thinking about

all the times

he'd thrown his keys there


and how many days of his life

were wasted

repeating the same tasks

and rituals in his apartment

over and over again.

But then he wondered if,


this was his life,

and the unusual part was his

time spent doing other things.


Bill sat down and read

a celebrity interview.

Then he watched the ants

crawl around in his sink.

(fluttering noise)

That night, Bill dreamt

of a monstrous fish head

that fed upon his skull.

(eerie exhale)

(low guttural sound)

In the morning,

Bill felt really tired

even though

he'd just been sleeping.

His calendar had a photo of

a manatee on it for the month.

It always seemed as though

the manatee was staring at him.

Bill sat in the living room

with a giant box of crackers.

He thought some food

might help him get going,

but felt kind of strange eating

in front of the television

without having it on.

Pretty soon he was watching

a boxing match

on a Mexican channel.

He'd been watching

a lot of boxing lately,

but didn't really know why.

In the fourth round, there was

an accidental head butt

that split open one of the

fighter's heads pretty badly.

They showed it over and over

again in slow motion.

Before he knew it,

Bill had eaten

the entire box of crackers.

He felt really lousy

and didn't want to get up.

He had a sudden urge

to talk to somebody,

so Bill phoned

his ex-girlfriend

and told her about the manatee

on his calendar.

"Did you ever see the movie

about the giant manatee

that attacked a city?"

she asked.

"I think you mean giant mantis,"

said Bill.

"Oh yeah," she said.

"Giant mantis."


The next morning,

Bill felt even worse.

Downtown, the hot smell

of manure

blew past him as he walked.

Bill soon came upon

three dead horses in the road,

apparently struck down

by a large moving vehicle.

"Well," he thought, "That would

explain the smell then."

He met his ex-girlfriend

during her lunch break

and they took a walk

to the park.

He noticed that every time

he was near her,

she sort of moved away with a

tight-lipped smile on her face

as though everything

were okay.

Mostly they talked

about death.

They agreed that being buried

seemed too claustrophobic,

and Bill didn't want

to be cremated

after he'd read that

the intense heat

boils fluids in the skull

until your head explodes.

He decided that he'd want

his body shot off into space

in a rocket ship.

He figured it'd be too expensive

to launch the weight

of his entire body,

but maybe just sending his head

into space would be good enough,

preferably in front of

a little window.

His ex-girlfriend said

she'd be really creeped out

if she knew Bill's severed head

was floating around

above her in space.

Bill was given a new booklet

at the clinic

discussing potential memory loss

in his treatment.

Inside was a cartoon character


"I don't know about you folks,

but I could lose my keys

eatin' breakfast."

His neighbor, trying to be

helpful but failing,

cornered Bill in the parking lot

to explain

how cryogenic scientists

could freeze his brain in ice

until a point in the future

when microscopic robots

could repair it.

Bill daydreamed about

all the brains in jars

he used to see at school,

how he used to wonder

whether there were still

somehow pieces of individuals


scattered fragments of

partial dreams or lost memories

lodged deep within

that dead tissue,

or whether this entire archive

is immediately erased

the moment that the body fails.

He began to think of people

in a new light,

how everyone's just little more

Rate this script:4.2 / 5 votes

Don Hertzfeldt

Don Hertzfeldt (born August 1, 1976) is an American animator, writer, and independent filmmaker. He is a two-time Academy Award nominee who is best known for the animated films World of Tomorrow, It's Such a Beautiful Day, Rejected, and World of Tomorrow Episode Two. In 2014, his work appeared on The Simpsons. Eight of his short films have competed at the Sundance Film Festival, a festival record. He is also the only filmmaker to have won the Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize for Short Film twice. Hertzfeldt's work has been described as "some of the most influential animation ever created,", "some of the most vital and expressive animation of the millennium," and "some of the most essential short films of the past 20 years."In his book The World History of Animation, author Stephen Cavalier writes, "Hertzfeldt is either a unique phenomenon or perhaps an example of a new way forward for individual animators surviving independently on their own terms… he attracts the kind of fanatical support from the student and alternative crowds usually associated with indie rock bands." Hertzfeldt's animated feature film, It's Such a Beautiful Day, was listed by many film critics as one of the best films of 2012 and the L.A. Film Critics Association awarded it runner-up for Best Animated Feature Film of the year. A poll of film critics ranked Hertzfeldt as the 9th Best Film Director of 2012. After a limited UK release the following year, the film was ranked #3 on Time Out London's list of the 10 Best Films of 2013 and #4 on The London Film Review's list of the same. In 2014, Time Out New York ranked It's Such a Beautiful Day #16 on its list of the "100 Best Animated Movies Ever Made," and in 2016, The Film Stage critics ranked the film #1 on their list of the "Best Animated Films of the 21st Century (So Far)." In 2016, Rolling Stone ranked World of Tomorrow #10 on its list of the "Greatest Animated Movies Ever" and the Indiewire film critics named the short film one of the "Best Movies of the 21st Century". Despite its short running time, The A.V. Club called it "possibly the best film of 2015."World of Tomorrow Episode Two: The Burden of Other People's Thoughts premiered in 2017 and received rare "A+" reviews from Indiewire and Collider, where it was described as "another soulful sci-fi masterpiece." The Daily Beast called it "one of the best films of the year... a must-see animated masterpiece."Hertzfeldt primarily supports his work through self-distribution such as ticket sales from theatrical tours, DVDs, VOD, and television broadcasts. He has refused all advertising work.Hertzfeldt lives in Austin, Texas. He spent many years in Santa Barbara, California after attending college there. He has kept a blog on his website since 1999. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "It's Such a Beautiful Day" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 16 Jun 2024. <'s_such_a_beautiful_day_11061>.

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