Anomalisa

"Essential"

Anomalisa Review


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.

Michael and Lisa are both yearning for a connection, worried that it may never come. This is a feeling everyone can identify with, whether or not we're willing to admit it. So the film's awkward interaction and muted sense of hope feel almost unnervingly truthful. As does the idea that we spend most of our lives trying to hide who we really are from everyone else, blending in with the herd while desperately looking for authenticity. Yes, there are profound ideas in every corner of this movie, and in its simple story of two people trying to come together, Kaufman has created a visually beautiful film with such a powerful surge of emotional resonance that it will forever change the way we see ourselves.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Anomalisa:



Anomalisa

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 21st January 2016

Box Office USA: $2.4M

Distributed by: Starburns Industries

Production compaines: Starburns Industries

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Fresh: 163 Rotten: 15

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: , Duke Johnson

Producer: , Duke Johnson, Dino Stamatopoulos, Rosa Tran

Starring: as Lisa (voice), as Michael (voice), as Everyone else (voice)

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Advertisement

New Movies

Office Christmas Party Movie Review

Office Christmas Party Movie Review

Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman reunite with The Switch directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck...

Snowden Movie Review

Snowden Movie Review

Here's another remarkable biopic from Oliver Stone, who has used all-star casts and intensely pointed...

The Birth of a Nation Movie Review

The Birth of a Nation Movie Review

This true story from 19th century America feels eerily relevant today in its depiction of...

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Advertisement
Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.