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

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

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.