I recently went through the loss of a pet and this movie spoke to me on a very deep level. I identified deeply with the mix of emotions Jim Cummings' character is feeling and displaying. I like the inclusion of the desperate comedic side of grief. Not everything is stoic and somber and sad when bad things happen. They are, to a degree, but in our grief, we do silly things or act foolish. Those moments are the most real, for me. They really brought a sense of realism to the entire production. It's okay though, we all have our own ways of grieving. I've been told by others that it's totally normal. (To those that have seen the movie, you'll get that.)
On a technical level, this movie is beautifully shot. I heard that it was made for around $190,000. I've seen movies with 10 times that budget that didn't look this good.-
Lastly, all of the long takes really add a sense of purpose to every scene, really letting you marinate in the emotion of the moment on screen. This movie is quite ambitious (for what I believe is a first feature?) and it really shows. You can really tell this movie was made by someone who really knew what they were doing and knew very well what they wanted to get across with each screen. The movie moves along at a brisk, refreshing pace, giving you purposeful bits of information in every scene with as little as a characters facial expression. You really feel like you're along for every moment of this journey with this guy.
I really loved the scene in the classroom with the parent teacher conference. Very realistic. Little touches like that with the desk, really added a nice extra layer, a little extra TLC. It would have been so easy to go the typical overreaction route, but his unique reaction really added something new to the scene and made the payoff all that more meaningful. (those that have seen it will know)
Watch this movie!