Don Hertzfeldt is one of those animators/filmmakers that you either adore, or just don’t understand. Most of the time his shorts use a very minimalist, stick-figure animation-style that looks like a devious child drew it. While being either ridiculous and random (“Rejected”), silly and dark (“Billy’s Balloon”) or pessimistic views of love and loving (“Ah, L’Amour” and “Lily and Jim”), the short films are at all times entertaining and verging on a cross-over into legitimate genius. “Everything Will Be OK” is that cross-over.
The tale of a man with steadily decreasing health and a steadily increasing brain tumor, “Everything Will Be OK” is everything you love in Hertzfeldt’s work, elevated somehow. Told in a stream of consciousness manner that brings the audience along as if we’re the ones with the brain tumor, the short dazzles and disturbs, captivating all those who are lucky enough to view it.
Why is this short his best to date? Because it utilizes all the elements that made his previous shorts genius in spurts, and brings the pieces together into a whole that is almost a greatest-hits of brilliant ideas. The dark comedy is there, the ridiculousness, the commentary on life and love, the sheer randomness of events. In the end, here’s to hoping Hertzfeldt’s work continues to ascend, so we can see more and more of his twisted genius.