Kaufman’s Anomalisa

Anomalisa - poster

Critics are generally bananas for this film.  Peter Keough of The Boston Globe does a nice job describing it:

Co-directed and written by Charlie Kaufman, “Anomalisa” is animated in a hyper-realistic, oddly off, stop-motion style that produces an uncanny effect similar to that in Richard Linklater’s rotoscoped “Waking Life” (2001)….

But that’s not why “Anomalisa” is so strange. It takes a few minutes to catch on, and it would be indiscrete to specify what it is, but once you figure out what’s really strange about it you have entered the solipsistic prison of a tormented mind.

Anomalisa - text blockHe goes on to give the film his highest rating, and proclaims it best of 2015.  I was less enthusiastic.  My knock against Anomalisa is that it executed a singular, potent idea perfectly suited to a short film, but when drawn out to feature length wears a bit thin.

Those who are familiar with the masterwork Being John Malkovich will recognize its themes of identity and the state of being human.  The difference there was that collaborating with Spike Jonze, Kaufman’s story constantly evolved.  Anomalisa, by contrast, is monotonous.  Even with my reservations, I did find Anomalisa to be a captivating little picture with lasting impact.  7/10

Comparison Notes: See “Film as Soufflé


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