“You’re not a whole particular person with out your soul mate,” croon three legendary birdlike ladies early within the coming-of-age musical “My Love Affair With Marriage.” The vocal trio — who fall someplace between a Greek refrain and the “Macbeth” bizarre sisters — are amongst numerous whimsical gadgets that elevate this beguiling animated characteristic, which traces the sexual and romantic awakening of a younger girl within the Soviet Union.
Written and directed with wild creativeness by the Latvian filmmaker Signe Baumane (“Rocks in My Pockets”), the movie follows Zelma (voiced by Dagmara Dominczyk) over 23 years as she transforms from spunky child to lovelorn teenager to stressed spouse to realized artist — all whereas entangled in a double helix of fallacies about feminine price and female goal. Alternating between sass and sincerity, Baumane methodically identifies the origins of those myths after which traces how they pinball Zelma by a sequence of agonies and ecstasies.
It’s a moody, unpredictable story of affection and loss, full of vivid metaphors, Soviet interval element and pedagogical sequences in regards to the physiology of affection. The glue holding these disparate items collectively is the movie’s gloriously tactile aesthetic: Baumane crafted Zelma’s world by overlaying line-drawn characters on meticulously constructed papier-mâché dioramas. The end result evokes an grownup puppet present crossed with a graphic novel, and just like the budding feminine identification the movie untangles, the entire thing takes slightly time getting used to. When you do, it’s remarkably lovely.
My Love Affair With Marriage
Not rated. Operating time: 1 hour 47 minutes. In theaters.