Thursday, September 17, 2015

TIFF 2015: Anomalisa

Anomalisa was originally a radio play, that has been expanded into a stop-motion feature film. Directors Charlie Kaufman (Inside John Malkovitch, Adaptation) and Duke Johnson bring us a love story between an empty man and a broken woman that is funny (the audience got a good laugh out of a puppet love scene that I did not think was supposed to be funny) and touching and a bit creepy. Like Son of Saul last week, there is a device used to show the isolation of the main character. In this case, after a few minutes you realize that every other voice apart from protagonist Michael Stone (David Thewlis) is the same. That's the creepy part. Stone isn't a very sympathetic character, but the romance still works. The story plays out around a speaking engagement at a Cincinnati hotel, where Stone has come from LA to talk about customer service and promote his book. Those who have come to hear him speak think he is a real star, but from our perspective he seems worn out and not at all worthy of admiration.

This is an interesting and original story, and the use of stop motion puppets to tell it is brilliantly chosen and executed.

TIFF Overview

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