As he did in films like Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Charlie Kaufman continues to explore the nature of human identity in this bracingly original stop-motion animated feature. It's an exquisitely crafted drama following a man and woman who find a way to see beyond the sameness of the world around them. And with his co-director Duke Johnson, Kaufman creates a witty, complex, dreamlike world that's unashamedly aimed at grown-ups.
It's the story of Michael (voiced by David Thewlis), an efficiency expert who travels to Cincinnati to deliver a lecture at a conference. But his mind is preoccupied with Bella, an ex who lives there. He phones his wife and son to clear his conscience before arranging to meet Bella in his hotel. Then later that evening he runs into Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a fan of his book who feels like such an anomaly that she can't quite believe that Michael might be interested in her. But there's a spark of attraction between them, something that feels rare in this soft, bland place.
This is a story about how life is essentially selfish and lonely, only livened up by hopeful connections we make with the people around us. Yes, it's sometimes rather bleak and dark, but it's also breathtakingly honest. And the film is packed with staggeringly clever touches that touch on ideas in ways that cut right through to our hearts (we'll never year Girls Just Wanna Have Fun in quite the same way again). Aside from Michael and Lisa, all of the characters are voiced by Tom Noonan, a stylistic flourish that feels gimmicky until its meaning becomes clear. As played out by these delicately crafted puppets on remarkably detailed sets, the film looks simply astonishing. It's almost hyper-realistic, with characters who are packed with visible quirks that echo in the actors' vocal performances.
Continue reading: Anomalisa Review
Charlie Kaufman , Jack Black - Variety's Creative Impact Awards And 10 Directors To Watch Brunch at The 27th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 3rd January 2016
Charlie Kaufman , Duke Johnson - Variety's Creative Impact Awards and 10 Directors To Watch Brunch at the Parker Palm Springs hotel - Arrivals at Parker Hotel - Palm Springs, California, United States - Sunday 3rd January 2016
Anomalisa is a new film from directors Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson. Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich) also wrote the film - his first animation. Initial funding for the movie was achieved on Kickstarter, the project raised over 400,000 dollars, doubling their initial asking price.
The stop-motion film used 3-D printers to create the puppets and the story follows the day to day life of Michael Stone, a man who's struggling with going through the same processes every day. When he meets a stranger in a hotel, she might just be able to show Michael a new view point.
Continue: Anomalisa Trailer
Synecdoche (sih-NECK-doh-kee) is a word whose meaning is too long to type out here -- and isn't essential to understanding the film, anyway. But it's just the type of word you might throw in the title of your first movie as a director if you wanted to let people know in advance they're in for something offbeat. And Synecdoche, New York is nothing if not determinedly offbeat.
Continue reading: Synecdoche, New York Review
Carrey traditionally makes silly comedies for his loyal supporters and risky pictures for his critics. His career path to date has alternated every bombastic Bruce Almighty with a tragic The Truman Show, and whatever Carrey camp you subscribe to will help you determine whether or not Sunshine is worth your time.
Continue reading: Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind Review
Thus spake Adaptation. Starting out with fake (or real?) behind-the-scenes footage of Malkovich, taking detours to the dawn of life on earth and story mogul Robert McKee's screenwriting class, Darwin's lab, Orlean's book (with Chris Cooper playing the swamp rat/scientist/orchid thief himself), voice-overs, and flashbacks, Adaptation finds inventive convolutions that might make it seem more esoteric than it really is.
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Sam Rockwell (best known for show-stealing turns in Charlie's Angels and Galaxy Quest) makes for an engaging and wildly funny doppelganger for Barris, owning the character so completely it's hard to tell where the source material ends and Rockwell's interpretation picks up. With Barris appearing in almost every scene, the film takes us down his road from TV-producer wannabe to master of the 1970s game show. Oh, and not to mention, a stint as a freelance assassin for the CIA.
Continue reading: Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind Review
Patricia Arquette plays Lila, a best-selling environmental book author, who suffers from a hormonal disorder that causes her to sport an overabundance of body hair. Prior to finding success, the young woman learned to use the affliction as a source of strength and was able to get in touch with her true self while living in the wilderness for several years. Upon Lila's return to human civilization, she begins seeing an electrolysist named Louise (Rosie Perez) who helps her deal with the excess hair. She also introduces Lila to a brilliant, though maladjusted, behavioral scientist Nathan (Tim Robbins). A relationship soon blossoms.
Continue reading: Human Nature Review
The centerpiece of Being John Malkovich, in case you haven't guessed, is a portal, which provides the unique opportunity to "be John Malkovich." As one character, when approached with the chance, exuberantly improvises, "Great! That was my second choice." Which leads us right back where we started. Why John Malkovich?
Continue reading: Being John Malkovich Review
As he did in films like Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless...
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