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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Anomalisa


Directed and produced by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, and written by Kaufman based on his own play of the same name, Anomalisa is a 2015 stop-motion animated comedy-drama featuring the voice talent of David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tom Noonan.
Michael Stone (Thewlis) is a customer service expert who is travelling to Cincinnati to promote his hugely successful book "How May I Help You Help Them?". Lonely and depressed, the whole world and everybody in it looks and sounds generic and banal to Michael. After having phones his wife and kid from his hotel room, he hooks up with an old lover in the hotel bar but the meeting ends up disasterous after he suggests the woman comes up to his room. As Michael returns to his room alone, he hears an extraordinary voice and, looking for its source, encounters two women, who are at the hotel to hear him speak. Starstruck, they accompany him back to the bar and Michael is delighted to find that one them, Lisa, actually makes him feel again. Different to everybody and everything else, Lisa appears to awaken real emotions and joy in the despondent writer and maybe this is the encounter that will turns his life around...
Another highly original and eccentric entry in the filmography of Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa is a surreal comedy-drama. The first act is hilarious and captures the banality of life to a tee although the film certainly becomes more dramatic and serious as it focuses on Michael's state of mind and his empty world view.The stop-motion animation is fantastic as are the lifelike puppets and the film also boasts an incredibly realistic sex scene, granting the film its R rating. Thought-provoking, unique and unflinching, Anomalisa is a one of a kind animated feature and a perfect addition to Kaufman's eccentric fimography. The film was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes and won the Grand Special Jury Prize as well as the Future Film Festival Digital Award at the Venice Film Festival, where it was also in the running for the Golden Lion.