|ANOMALISA (directors: Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson; screenwriter: Charlie Kaufman/based on his play; cinematographer: Joe Passarelli; editor: Garret Elkins; music: Carter Burwell; voices: Jennifer Jason Leigh (Lisa), Tom Noonan (Everyone else), David Thewlis (Michael Stone); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Rosa Tran, Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman, Dino Stamatopoulos; Hanway Films; 2015)|
strange love story that is hauntingly told but
never quite caught my fancy."
by Dennis Schwartz
A weird animation film about a lonely married man's breakdown during a one-day business trip from LA to Cincinnati. It's written and co-directed by Charlie Kaufman ("Synecdoche, New York"). Duke Johnson is the co-director, who does his animation thing. The work features stop-motion puppetry, with puppets adorned in masks of human faces. The result is a gimmicky, strange love story that is hauntingly told but never quite caught my fancy.
motivational speaker named Michael Stone
(voiced by David Thewlis) wrote a bestselling
book, "How May I Help You Help Them." He
spends the night at a Cincy hotel. Tomorrow he will
give a speech to customer-service reps attracted to
soon learn Stone is locked into a bad marriage and has
a bratty son he doesn't really care for, even if he
professes love for his family. Everyone sounds alike
to him. Thereby the voice of Tom Noonan speaks for the
other characters, whether male or female. Looking to
get over his depression, Stone calls on a local woman
named Bella he dumped over ten years ago and makes a
date with her at his hotel bar.
are a bummer until he meets Lisa (voice of Jennifer
Jason Leigh), the sales rep who worships Stone. This
is one character not voiced by Noonan but by Jennifer
Jason Leigh, which means she has a unique attraction
for Stone and thereby a unique voice. They go to bed
for the night and even though their sex is not great
they make a love connection because they are soul
mates. Their highlight together is when she
sings Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to
droll humor and the genuine concern for the loveless
character is the catchall. That it's performed by
puppets who look human makes it an odd fascination.
which translates to 'goddess of heaven,' originated
on stage as a sound experiment from composer
REVIEWED ON 1/22/2016 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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