Anomalisa 2016

anomalisaCharlie Kaufman’s stop-motion/puppet film is an anomaly; it might be a romance, it might be an anti-romance, it might be a plea for equal rights for sex-toys. David Thewlis voices Michael, a jaded family man who falls in love with Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) during a convention he’s speaking at in the Fregoli hotel. It’s her voice that first attracts Michael, not surprising when every other character, male or female, is voiced by Tom Noonan. Michael and Lisa’s one-night stand is captured in granular detail, and Kaufmann ingeniously uses puppets to make their bedroom scenes non-exploitative. Whether it’s a portrait of a man incapable of love, or a valentine to the transitory nature of love itself, Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman’s film is very much up for interpretation, as is as sub-plot where Michael buys a sex-toy and presents it to his family on his return home. Whatever it means, Anomalisa is imaginative, brilliantly executed and heartbreakingly sad.

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