Paul Giamatti brings Harvey Pekar - the curmudgeonly 'poet of the mundane' whose autobiographical American Splendor comic books were illustrated by Robert Crumb - to "grubby, soulful life" (Los Angeles Times) in a fantastically inventive mash-up of live action and animation.
The real-life Harvey Pekar co-inhabits this multilayered biopic alongside his on-screen surrogate in a narrative and dramatic artifice that works wonderfully well.
Hope Davis is excellent as Harvey's muse and eventual third wife, Joyce Brabner, with Hal Hartley regular, James Urbaniak (Henry Fool, Fay Grim) in fine idiosyncratic form as Crumb.
Look out for Judah Friedlander (30 Rock's Frank Rossitano) in a supporting role as Toby, "the genuine nerd" - a role that earned the actor/comedian an Independent Spirit Awards nomination.
"A magnificently audacious movie, in which fact and fiction sometimes coexist in the same frame...plain brilliant!" - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"One of the most wildly original, dryly comical and smartly structured films ever created. Totally unique" - Film Threat