FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: “Anomalisa” is voiced by David Thewlis (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Theory of Everything), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight, The Machinist), and Tom Noonan (Heat, Last Action Hero). It is written and directed by Charlie Kauffman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation.), while Duke Johnson (Community [TV series], Marrying God) also took part in directing. Michael Stone (Thewlis) is a respectable customer service expert who finds himself lonely in a life full of bland people. That is until he meets Lisa (Leigh), who helps him discover that there may be one person left in the world that he can truly love.
Sometimes I just don’t understand critics. How did this earn a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes again? You know, I was told by my fellow pal Captain Critic that this film wasn’t good. Heck, even my dad relayed to me the awful score it was given on Redbox (where I rent most of the films I review on Fridays, by the way). But, the trailer looked pretty good, and it’s stop-motion animation! There’s gotta be something great to come out of that style, right? I couldn’t have been more disappointed with this feature. If there is one thing that any reviewer got right when describing this film, it would be how adult-oriented it is. Not in the sense of jokes, like what I talked about in my recent analyzation of “Zootopia.” This thing went full on adult: dull, depressing, and graphic. I gotta hand it to the filmmaker though, for he made the first ever life-like stop-motion feature that I have ever seen. By that I mean I got to hear intense cussing and even see some puppet nudity (full frontal). It got uncomfortable, guys. I’m not used to this, but kudos to that man for having the balls to do it. Besides the animation itself, which was incredible (I wish there could be a more frequent supply of stop-motions), there isn’t much for me to compliment on in this movie. It’s story is often hindered with the fact that it wants to be sad, and that’s my biggest issue. I’m fine with realism. Stray away from the predictable clichés of cinema as much as you can. But, this thing was so real that I couldn’t even like it. We are shown the perspective of a man who is completely lonely in the world, longing for someone of uniqueness. Everyone else to him seems the same. They all have the same face and voice (which was a nice touch). We go on a rather simplistic and deceptive adventure with this man, and it is often hard to follow. It may be my age, but I am sure that not every adult can relate to this picture. Otherwise, adulthood must be tormenting. I wanted to understand this guy’s dilemma, but every time I got close to, I was taken aback by some ludicrous scene or conflict. There’s so much that goes on in this flick that it’s difficult to piece together what our main character is thinking. What is his problem? I’ll never know because I find life and people to be quite special, at least in a sense that a good bit of each are different. What I do know, however, is that this man, Michael Stone, is depressed, and so was I in watching this. Not only did seeing Michael’s journey sadden me, but the fact that the ending didn’t resolve anything left me furious. Once I finished this movie, I realized that there was really no point to it. I essentially watched a day-in-the-life of someone I could care less about, because he is a complete jerk. He willingly commits adultery and dreams of a hotel manager wanting to be his gay lover. Michael is a lunatic, but almost everything he does isn’t ever considered weird. I guess some call certain situations complicated, but a lot of what goes on in here that is “complicated” is utterly insane. I would explain further (I bet you are as confused as I am), but if you ever want to see this, I better not spoil it. I’ll just leave you with some final remarks. The idea this release had was somewhat promising (it even kept me in-tune with its plot throughout its entirety). Having a man realize that his life isn’t as flavorful as it used to be and how he feels utterly alone can make for a terrific inspirational experience, but the route this writer took was dark, grimy, gloomy, confusing, and had no resolution. I was upset with how this turned out and I wouldn’t recommend anyone to see it, for it would be a waste of ninety minutes. FINAL SCORE: 59%= Burnt Popcorn
This movie has been inducted into The Burnt Hall of Shame.
Here is the trailer: