Movie Review – Anomalisa (2015)
In this animated film for adults, an author and expert in customer service, Michael Stone, is suffering from depression, where everything feels very repetitive in life and everyone looks the same. However, when he heads to a conference to speak to an audience, he meets a young woman in a hotel, and is shocked to see how different she seems and feels from other people around him.
This animated film starring the voices of David Thewlis and Jennifer Jason Leigh definitely had some excellent elements. The use of animation and the puppets in the film were fantastic, and the ability to showcase human emotion through these characters was definitely a sign that the team responsible for this film knew what they were doing.
Furthermore, the voice talents in the film, particularly Thewlis, did a wonderful job of building mystery, intensity, and emotion into the animated film.
Themes put forward in the film, including feeling stalled in life, unsure about relationships, and wondering about mediocrity, are definitely themes people can relate to.
However, where this film stumbles is the slow pacing, and the feeling that as the film progresses, it starts to feel like a bit of a whiny adventure into Michael Stone’s life. Yes, we understand he feels upset about his current family and work life. And yes, being in this hotel allows him to explore these thoughts, and meet someone new. However, at times the story moves at a somewhat glacial pace. Audiences can understand the themes and what the plot is saying. They don’t need it to move so slowly to work it all out while they squirm in their seats.
Furthermore, the closing of the film feels a little sudden, and we are left wondering exactly what happens with Stone after his weekend at the hotel, and what he does next. It would be nice to have a bit more closure after spending so much time with Stone in this film.
Overall: 3 stars out of 5 stars.