Friday, 10 June 2016
Anomalisa lives up to its name by being an anomaly in movie making: it is an animated movie for adults. Not an animated movie with some pop culture jokes aimed at older audiences, but rather a true adult oriented animation flick. I mean it: it's got depictions of sex and male frontal nudity, just to point at two non plot related examples.
The premises took a few minutes to sink into this viewer's head. We follow Michael (David Thewlis) as he heads to a convention at Cincinnati. He calls his wife, asks about his child, and talks to the cab driver. It then occurred to me that all of the above sound the same [to him], which sort of explains his visibly dreary and indifferent look on life.
Eventually we learn our guy has made it to Cincinnati in order to make a presentation before clients from the area. He stays the night before at a posh hotel, which is where he meets Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh made it just in time from The Hateful Eight) and her colleague. There is an anomaly with Lisa: she does not sound like everybody else. Michael is set on exploring this newly found avenue for happiness in his life.
I cannot say I liked or enjoyed Anomalisa. It is not a long movie but it was still boring. It breaks new ground in animation and uses it to deliver stuff normal American movies seem unable to deliver (e.g., that male frontal nudity I have mentioned earlier) but, other than a bit of a cringe here and there, it fails to make ground breaking use of this toy that it had found.
One can sort of see the message Anomalisa is trying to make with its depiction of people all sounding the same. I dig that. It's just that I think Anomalisa takes me on a way overlong less travelled path to get there, charges me too much for the trip, and ultimately fails to take me anywhere new.
Overall: I wouldn't recommend watching Anomalisa for any reason other than admiring the technical feat of animation. 2 out of 5 crabs.