Anomalisa (2015)

Director: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman
Writer: Charlie Kaufman
Based on: his play
Cast: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 5.11.2015
[Review by cornholio.]

Michael Stone (David Thewlis) is traveling to a reading of his successful book on customer service. Despite his wife and kid at home and his successful career, he feels empty though. Everything seems the same, everyone seems the same. As he arrives in Cincinnati, he debates with himself whether he should contact his ex-girlfriend who lives there. But it’s not until he meets Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) that some excitement seems to come into his life.

I liked Anomalisa, but it didn’t blow me away as much as it seems to have most people. It’s a good film, but I’m nowhere near falling over myself from excitement.


Anomalisa was an extremely enjoyable film. i really liked the animation and the way the puppets were made. I thought it looked really nice. And the cast was wonderful, above all David Thewlis who really gives it his all, as much as Tom Noonan who has arguably a much more difficult job and manages it beautifully.

But I just thought that the central conceít of the film was a little thin. It’s not that it ever got boring or that the film started to drag, even when it was obvious where things were headed. And it’s a good idea that they executed well. I just kept waiting for something else, something more. I kept expecting, I don’t even know what, but after everything is established, the film just never really goes anywhere.

anomalisa1Again, I thought it was a brilliant idea to portray Stone’s ultimately narcissistic, misanthropic psychosis the way it was shown here. It’s a beautiful metaphor for the ultimate egotism, but maybe what bothered me about it was that I just didn’t feel like the film acknowledged enough how much the problem lay with Stone and not with everybody around him. And then it just ends nowhere, really.

That doesn’t mean that Anomalisa isn’t worth seeing or that it isn’t a good film. I did enjoy it. But it might go to explain why I’m hesitant where everybody else seems to be in love.

anomalisa2Summarizing: Still worth checking out.

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