Viennale 2015 – Day 15: Anomalisa

USA 2015
Written by Charlie Kaufman
Directed by Duke Johnson & Charlie Kaufman
Watched on 05.11.2015

“Anomalisa” may not have changed my life – but it sure as hell is a fucking great movie. I’m a sucker for stop-motion-animation anyway, and “Anomalisa” definitely is one of the most beautiful said movies that I’ve ever seen. The characters, the backgrounds, the color palette… absolutely stunning. It’s not just the visuals, though, I also loved the story, and especially, how they used a certain stylistic device in order to get us into the mind of Michael Stone.


Admittedly, the fact that everyone except Michael and Lisa speak with the same voice threw me off at first. I’m especially allergic to male (voice) actors speaking female roles (something that, as much as I liked the idea on paper, already ruined the “Watchmen” Motion Comic for me), which irritated me quite a bit at first. However, once the reason for that is revealed, I didn’t just understand what they were trying to do here, but retroactively absolutely loved that idea. It’s such a great way to illustrate Michael’s depression for us, and how he is stuck in this dull, monotonous everyday life and world. Absolute genius. It also put us, the viewer, right into Michael’s mind, and made his excitement and his pleasure of meeting Lisa, who stands out from the rest, palpable. Like him, we are also very pleased and happy to finally hear a different voice. It’s such a great way to convey his instant attraction to her, and to transfer it to the viewer. I also loved their scenes together, with Jennifer Jason Leigh’s rendition of “Girls just want to have fun”, the best (and actually highly erotic, as strange as that may sound) puppet-sex-scene ever (surpassing “Team America: World Police” by a mile) as well as the tragic moment during breakfast being particular highlights for me. The voice acting is absolutely great, too. David Thewlis fills Michael with an incredible sense of sadness, desperation and despair. Jennifer Jason Leigh is extremely charming as Lisa. And Tom Noonan does a great job with everyone else (even though I’ll never get used to hearing a disguised male voice speaking a female character). Pretty much my only two complaints are the nightmare-sequence (which I could have done without) and the scene with his speech (which felt a little too overly dramatic). Other than that, though, “Anomalisa” was absolutely incredible.


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2 Responses to Viennale 2015 – Day 15: Anomalisa

  1. Lawrence Fleischer says:

    I found this film to be boring and relentlessly depressing. Dreary settings and characters, and lengthy sequences of mundane activities made this film a chore to watch. Even at roughly one and a half hours it seemed much to long. All in all a resounding failure. Stay away.

  2. Pingback: Anomalisa (2015) | kalafudra's Stuff

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