'Anomalisa' is the classic Kaufman we all Love! (by ClaytonDavis)
There comes a moment in "Anomalisa," from co-directors Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, where you stop fighting the need to try to understand the weird yet invigorating story structure, and surrender to all the quirks, charm, and emotional tension its displaying on screen. Hypnotizing in the words ad expressions of its stop-motion characters, Kaufman's screenplay is right up there with his top-tier works of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "Being John Malkovich." If anything, it's as if Kaufman merged his brilliant writing style with the works <more>
of Wes Anderson and Spike Jonze, delivering a newly interpreted work that shows itself as one of the year's gargantuan masterpieces in writing. The less you know, the better. Watching the recent trailer that dropped for the film did it no favors as it presented itself as the animated version of "Lost in Translation" when its anything but. Simply put, it focuses on a man named Michael Stone, who has made a career about stressing the importance of customer service. When he takes a one day trip to Cincinnati, he begins to focus on the mundanity of his life. I've banged this drum too often, with some help from notable critics and viewers, but voice work has to be looked upon as a genuine performance, and you'll find just another example of it with the outstanding works of David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Tom Noonan. Thewlis' Michael Stone is intricate and calculated with a real sense of disparity and hopelessness. He envelops the essence of a lost man, attempting to regain normality in a world where everything is far too familiar and similar. Jennifer Jason Leigh captures the essence of innocence and perplexity, as her Lisa tries to make sense of a situation that can either be interpreted as fate or coincidence. Visibly broken, and aching to be put back together, Leigh enriches the morose yet intriguing nature of the film with zeal. It's one of her best performances and one you can look back upon as another staggering performance from a voice-actor. Tom Noonan where's so many hats in "Anomalisa," a chameleon transcending the inner workings of a broken man. It's a breathtaking performance, one not obvious at first, but eventually opens up in the most awkward but satisfying manner. When walking into Kaufman and Johnson's world, one of the first questions you have to ask is why stop motion? Does this have the opportunity to be interpreted in different mediums that could be more satisfying and accessible for the viewer? It's a perfect marriage of narrative structure and story. As an adult animation drama, you can see the freakish elements of films like "Fantastic Mr. Fox" but it is in no way for children. This speaks to the minds of adults. If you have ever struggled with depression, or have been stuck in the abnormality of a current state of living, the film may hit some very real chords with you. "Anomalisa" is an astounding achievement on every level. Exquisite and ravishing animation is on full display, using divine, subtle tones of color to capture the mood of a world all too distant but so uncomfortably close. It's single-handedly one of the best films that 2015 has to offer. Don't deny yourself this experience.
Kaufman Delivers on his First Stop-Motion Project (by mmendez-22089)
First Viewing:Well, Kids, it has finally happened. Watching Charlie Kaufman's ANOMALISA was like being at Disney World for the first time. THE HOUR AND THIRTY-MINUTES went by so fast for me from how much fun I was having. AND HE DELIVERED! as usual. If you are one who is thinking that 'maybe after being out of the spotlight for six years', that maybe Kaufman had lost his touch, NO. not in the slightest.This alluring and poetic stop-motion picture takes place in one of the most undervalued cities of the world; Cincinnati. Which is famous for its "zoo's" and <more>
"chili" supposedly. Michael Stone, played by the very gifted David Thewlis, is an award-winning author for a business-ethics book that is highly praised by all. Literally.. you will HEAR background voices whispering about. saying, "look, it's Michael Stone." Unfortunately, he is not too proud to be who he is. Masks. beat We all wear them. But how far do we go to hide who we truly are in the norm of the world? — *A WORLD WHERE EVERYONES VOICES SOUND THE SAME.* — Michael feels as if he is living a lie. He is trapped! But it doesn't stop there. In my opinion, he is not one who gives-up easily. **ONE NIGHT, as he checks into an average hotel suite, he begins drinking; thinking about an old lover, Belle, INSTEAD of his wife and firefighting son at home. Things begin to shift gears when a quasi-surreal occurrence happens after a nice warm shower in the hotel room. You see, the faces for these puppets that Kaufman and Johnson use have a very unique look that most "clay-nation-ers" choose to omit out. That is, the lines on the face where the animators can change their facial expressions; usually, these lines are covered up.**One element that I want to first go into was THE SOUND. Now, I am no expert with sound department, but viewing this in the theater with the rumbles and echoes, it was like a dream. This was a PERFECT FILM. I do not deny saying it. Part of my critique was based off my love for screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, but I am beyond that. If this was a bad film, I would say so, but for this brilliant storyteller, it is simply impassible. His poetically charged dialogue saves all and It is the main reason why I love the piece of shite. If it weren't for these passionate, lost characters trying to find themselves, I would not know where I am right now. Thank you Mr. Charlie Kaufman
Ever since I watched it last night, "Anomalisa" has kept popping up in my head. It is a film almost unlike any other, and certainly one of the greatest films I've seen come out in 2015. It's an extremely simple, yet extremely complex, film that takes place over a short amount of time and is only 90 minutes in length , and there's something about it that is just, simply, amazing. It's so powerful in its structure, using some truly meaningful stylistic choices a majority of the characters are voiced by the same actor , and the animation is truly <more>
miraculous!There's scenes that look like they're one continuous take, and even a pretty strange, but emotional sex scene, and yet all of the characters are stop motion animated! All of the meaning behind the film and the powerful story aside, the animation is enough for me to praise the film. Even if it was a badly written and boring movie, I would still be highly praising the animation, because, obviously, tons and tons of work and effort was put into this film, so it should really be appreciated for that reason alone.And, while it is one of the most emotionally draining animated films I've seen, it also has its share of hilarity throughout, and I can remember plenty of times in which I laughed over the course of the film."Anomalisa" is one film that deserves tons of praise.
The latest of Charlie Kaufmann's demonstrations of the effect of point-of-view on story-telling, Anomalisa takes its place in that magnificent line of works beginning with Being John Malkovich, through Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Synecdoche New York, all works of genius.Taking its cue from a delusional condition, Kaufmann applies the point of view of a sufferer to an otherwise banal midlife crisis and comes up with a remarkable and completely unexpected way of presenting it to us.Kaufmann is awesome.As well as the terrific visuals, courtesy of co-director Duke <more>
Johnson and his team, there is yet another bullseye from composer Carter Burwell.The pace of the movie is leisurely. The material feels unusually stretched for a Kaufmann script, which may be because it apparently started out as a 40 minute work. Really, though, it doesn't matter. I'd rather spend a little too long with Anomalisa than five minutes with several other films I could mention. This, after all, is an amazing piece of art.
Offers a real insight into the human soul (by tomgillespie2002)
It's been 8 years since Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut, Synedoche, New York - that great but under-appreciated little film about a man the late Philip Seymour Hoffman who dreamed of building a scale model of New York in a warehouse. The critics seemed to like it but didn't voice their approval very loudly, and chances are many won't remember its existence. Funded by a Kickstarter campaign, Kaufman's latest is a stop-motion collaboration with Duke Johnson, an animator probably most famous for his Adult Swim works.Beginning with mundane chatter in mundane locations, <more>
Anomalisa is in no rush to hit you with any visual splendour, which tends to be the norm for animated films. Instead, we follow our miserable protagonist Michael Stone David Thewlis , a British motivational speaker whose book on customer service is the handbook for those unfortunate enough to be in the business, as he lands in Cincinnati. He grabs a cab ride with an annoying driver who seems to be completely unaware of Michael's depressed, frustrated state, and insists he visit the zoo and tries to Cincinnati's famous chilli. He arrives at his hotel, the Fregoli, where he is unnecessarily escorted to his room by an over-friendly bell boy who informs him of the delights of his standard, mediocre room.It's probably at this point that you'll realise you haven't been imagining that all the characters look and sound alike, and instead that this is a deliberate tactic key to understanding the mindset of Michael and the themes of the film. The name of the hotel is a clue, as the Fregoli delusion is a condition that causes a person to imagine everyone else to be the same entity in disguise with the sole purpose of inflicting torment on the sufferer. Here, everyone has the face of an adult white male even the women and children and has been blessed with the soothing, distinctive voice of Tom Noonan. It is only when Michael stumbles upon two women in his hotel who are there to see his speech the following day that this spell is broken. One of the two women, Lisa, has a barely noticeable facial disfigurement and sounds like Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Michael is enamoured.Michael's relationship with Lisa, who be dubs 'Anomalisa', gives the film a much-needed heart, as this may have otherwise been an exercise in misanthropy. There's no fantasy romance here, but a dinner date where everyone involved drinks too much, Michael's awkward invitation for Lisa to accompany him back to his room, and a sex scene which is, ironically, the most realistic I've ever seen on film. Michael accidentally rolls onto her hair, she bangs her head, he asks her the awkward question of whether she's cool with oral sex - there's certainly no pan to a roaring fireplace,You would think that the heightened sense of realism would make the choice to film this in stop-motion slightly redundant, but oddly, it makes the film even more human. It also allows Kaufman and Johnson to show much more of life's ugliness - we are treated to Michael's middle-aged stark naked body jumping out of the shower and the sight of a random man across the way getting ready to masturbate in front of his computer. It's often difficult to sit through. I work in customer services myself and can empathise with Michael's internal struggle of feeling trapped within himself and that others are barely distinguishable from one another. Don't expect any tidy resolutions either, Kaufman is intelligent enough to realise that the excitement of meeting an interesting girl is only temporary, and life will still go on. It's upsetting, certainly, but Anomalisa offers a real insight into the human soul and makes a lasting impression.
This film is about a man crippled by his mundane boring life but everything changes when he meets Lisa (by dylansilber-52053)
This film is sad, gripping, depressing, and just about every other emotion possible crammed into one film. It's directed by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson. Charlie Kaufman also wrote the film. Charlie Kaufman is my favorite director/writer, four of his movies are in my top ten including this one. I love his work because every movie he makes is so different and original compared to all the Hollywood crap that's made now a days. I was really hyped for this film and so happy I got to see it at the Savannah film festival. So the bar was set high for this movie for me and it and <more>
Anomalisa passed that bar with flying colors. It's a beautiful story and Charlie Kaufman makes this movie work even though it shouldn't. I really can't picture any other director making this film. The animation was very different and unique and it should be used in future movies. The voice acting was incredible and it's also a really funny movie. It strikes the balance between drama and comedy nicely. I have pretty much no problems with this movie. The only thing I thought they did wrong was the ending, which I thought ended too abruptly. It will be awhile before anyone else can see this movie, it comes out in theaters in late December and they haven't even released a trailer yet but trust me your going to want to see it. I can see this film being nominated for best animated feature and best writing adapted screenplay. This is my favorite Charlie Kaufman film it's right in front of eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. I really hope this kick starts his career because I'm sure he has more quirky/original ideas to make into movies,
"Anomalisa" is in my opinion one of this year's most important films. The film centres on Michael Stone, a depressed customer service guru who struggles to connect with others, finally meeting someone he can truly connect with - a woman named Lisa.Anyone familiar with Kaufman's work knows that he has a tendency to write incredibly deep and complex stories embedded with a plethora of themes. "Anomalisa" might just be the one exception or anomaly to that fact. The story is surprisingly simple; most of it takes place over the course of 24 hours. The messages behind <more>
it, fortunately, will still require multiple viewings and further analysis in order to be fully grasped. The final synthesis is elegantly woven to near perfection and is at times humorous and even thrilling. Running at only 90 minutes, the film never feels slow nor bloated. I believe "Anomalisa" is a good starting point for those just starting to get into Kaufman's filmography.The stop-motion animation is some of the best that I have ever seen on the big screen. For a project that was funded on Kickstarter, I have to say that the quality of the animation is the equivalent to what you would see in an Aardman Animations or Laika production - if not better. There were certain shots that made me stop and really appreciate the efforts that the team went through just to make all of their characters' movements flow realistically. Kudos to them!The reasons why I think "Anomalisa" is one of this year's most important films not only have to do with the way the film was financed and produced, but that it also opens up a dialogue on isolation and social disillusionment - they are usually seen as flaws inherent only within the individual, despite the fact that everyone plays some part in furthering it."Anomalisa" is a true work of art on many levels. It is a simple story that touches on a wide range of emotions, riddled with the complexities of our perceptions on relationships. Do not be surprised if this film makes you laugh more than cry. Do not be surprised if this film makes you cry more than laugh - for that is the true beauty of this anomaly of a film.
Greetings again from the darkness. Seeing Charlie Kaufman's work described as "strange", "weird" or "bizarre" makes me cringe a little because most of his films hit my sweet spot of curiosity, insight and expression. I easily relate to his creative vision and commentary in films like Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Synecdoche, New York. His characters are always searching for something and trying to discern the meaning of life or at least of their own life. This latest has Kaufman adapting his own stage <more>
production, and collaborating with co-director Duke Johnson for what is likely for the vast majority of us our most startling existential stop-action animated puppet cinematic experience.The unusual opening of the film is a black screen with only background noise and voices, and the first chuckle occurred within about a minute thanks to one of my favorite cultural references of the year: "Kojak, not Kolchak". Slowly the screen evolves to show clouds in the sky, and soon an airplane appears and our first peek at Michael occurs he's a passenger on a flight. The vast majority of the rest of the film takes place inside the Fregoli Hotel – aptly named because Michael seems to suffer from a twist on Fregoli Delusion a person believes those around him are all the same person in disguise .We soon notice that Michael appears beaten down, even exasperated with life. He is an author in town to give a presentation on his specialty Customer Service. The story continues along familiar lines of a business traveler in the midst of a mid-life crisis, until things change for him when he stumbles on a couple of his fans who are in town for his presentation. One of them is Lisa, whom Michael is attracted to thanks to her innocent energy and wonderful voice. What makes her voice so wonderful? Well, it turns out that Michael is voiced by British actor David Thewlis, Lisa is voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh, and EVERY other character in the film male or female is voiced by Tom Noonan. Lisa and her voice are the anomaly that makes up the film's title Michael is smitten with her because her voice is not like all the others - providing a spark of hope.Mr. Kaufman seems intent on making us realize how easily we can slip into a rut and simply go through the motions in life every day and every person being pretty much like the rest. Michael has learned to wear his Customer Service mask – one who pretends to care about the issues of others. It's a terrific metaphor for someone refusing to face the responsibility for their own happiness. His awakening occurs at the hands and in bed with Lisa. Yes, you should be prepared for the uncommon and slightly unsettling site of Puppet Private Parts. The clumsy passion of the first encounter between Michael and Lisa does wonders for each of them restoring her self-esteem and awakening him from his daily slumber of hopelessness.While the story itself is quite simple, the use of puppets prevents us from getting overly personal or judgmental with the characters, and forces us to deal with the emotional and mental aspects of what keeps so many from leading happy lives. Lisa's acapella version of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" ignites the fuse in Michael, and just like that, both he and Lisa are jolted from their own self-imposed limitations. No longer able to just go through the motions, Michael's overreactions at breakfast and during his presentation are all part of his re-awakening the most profound puppet awakening since Pinocchio. Perhaps Mr. Kaufman thought we might be more receptive to his message and observations if delivered by a non-threatening puppet, and perhaps he's correct. The message is delivered loudly and clearly though I will probably hear Tom Noonan's voice in my nightmares. The look of the movie and the puppets is fantastic, and Carter Burwell provides yet another spot-on score.
Kaufman's Bleak Outlook on Life and Human Relationships (by evanston_dad)
Every time I see a Charlie Kaufman film I'm reminded how fearless he is at examining the human condition and why I need to put a lot of time in between watching his movies.In "Anomalisa," his Academy-Award nominated animated film, David Thewlis and especially Jennifer Jason Leigh do tremendous voice work as an emotionally ill minor celebrity and the shy, awkward woman with whom he enjoys a one-night stand while at a conference at which he is the speaker. The film is an examination of middle-aged male discontent and loneliness, a subject a younger version of me was always <more>
impatient with and which the 41-year-old version of me now finds hits uncomfortably close to home. Kaufman creates a sad character who has many unpleasant tendencies but isn't necessarily a completely unpleasant man, and allows us to see how this one night in the man's life and his approach to human relationships is a stand-in for his entire adult life and the driving force behind his depression.As in his masterpiece, "Synecdoche, New York," Kaufman refuses to give in to the convention of happy, or at least hopeful, endings, and suggests that it is possible to live an entire life being utterly miserable if you don't possess the resources to do otherwise, a terrifying idea to anyone who has struggled with depression, anxiety, or even just prolonged bouts of general malaise. In so many Hollywood movies about unhappy people, the unhappy people just need the emotional connection to that one special person that shakes them out of their funk and changes everything around for them. One of the things I liked best about "Anomalisa" is its suggestion that, while those special people really do exist, happiness in any one person is something that has to come from inside and isn't going to be imposed on one by another. It isn't comfortable to think about the possibility of life being a long series of missed opportunities, but it feels honest.Grade: A-