A tale of friendship between two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a forty-four-year old, severely obese man living in New York.

Director:

Adam Elliot

Writer:

Adam Elliot
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Massey ... 911 Operator / Ambulance Voice / Derisive Observer (voice) (as Chris Massey)
Oliver Marks Oliver Marks ... Alleyway Bully One (voice)
Daisy Kocher Daisy Kocher ... Alleyway Bully Two / Bird Injury Girl / Bus Stop Girl / Katherine Ramsay (voice)
Daniel Marks Daniel Marks ... Alleyway Bully Three (voice)
Hamish Hughes Hamish Hughes ... Animals (Miscellaneous) / Mad Jury Member / Opera Singer Two (voice)
Dan Doherty Dan Doherty ... BMX Bandit (voice)
Julie Forsyth Julie Forsyth ... Bus Stop Mother / Kissing Woman (voice)
Mandy Mao Mandy Mao ... Cher the Chihuahua / Sonny the Chihuahua (voice)
Eric Bana ... Damien Popodopolous (voice)
Patrick McCabe ... Datsun Sunny Driver (voice)
Adam Elliot ... Dr. Bernard Hazelhof / Garbo Two / Grandpappy Ralph / Ivan Ruby Bevan / Mr. Ravioli / Postmaster / Runover Kitten / Worm (voice)
Mr. Peck Mr. Peck ... Ethel the Rooster (voice)
Michael James Allen Michael James Allen ... Ferrari Driver (voice) (as Michael Allen)
Bill Murphy Bill Murphy ... Frankston Icebreaker One (voice)
Shaun Patten Shaun Patten ... Frankston Icebreaker Two (voice)
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Storyline

In the mid-1970's, a homely, friendless Australian girl of 8 picks a name out of a Manhattan phone book and writes to him; she includes a chocolate bar. She's Mary Dinkle, the only child of an alcoholic mother and a distracted father. He's Max Horowitz, an overweight man with Asperger's, living alone in New York. He writes back, with chocolate. Thus begins a 20-year correspondence, interrupted by a stay in an asylum and a few misunderstandings. Mary falls in love with a neighbor, saves money to have a birthmark removed and deals with loss. Max has a friendship with a neighbor, tries to control his weight, and finally gets the dream job. Will the two ever meet face to face? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes perfect strangers make the best friends. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An exhibit of artefacts and clips from the film were presented in France and Australia. In France the exhibition was hosted by Gaumont as part of the release. In Australia initially at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image for three months starting in March 2010 and then touring around Australia throughout 2010/2011. See more »

Goofs

When Mary flips open the phonebook at the Finkelstein entries, the same 7 lines are repeated. When she points at the entry for Horowitz (having not flipped the pages at all), 6 of the same 7 addresses are used (all but the one for M J A Horowitz); only the names have been changed. The one that is changed is from Herbert to Hubert and inexplicably leaves an extra blank space between Hubert and Street. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Mary Dinkle's eyes were the color of muddy puddles. Her birthmark, the color of poo.
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Crazy Credits

The end credits show animated portraits of the characters, with the actors names beneath them. See more »

Connections

References Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

A Swinging Safari
Composed and Performed by Bert Kaempfert
© 1962 Roosvelt Music Co Inc. All rights admin. and licensed by EMI David Music Australia Pty Ltd.
Licensed courtesy of Universal Music Australia Pty Limited
www.getmusic.com.au
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User Reviews

 
Witty, well observed and wondrous
16 February 2009 | by asphodelfilmsSee all my reviews

I went into this film at the Berlinale with mixed feelings. I knew that Adam Elliot's shorts were great but frankly the last few years haven't been great for Australian films and a number of short filmmakers have made disappointing first features.

But right from the opening frame, this film shattered any of my doubts. It's so refreshing to see a film told with such a strong unique vision and pulled off so effortlessly. This is made even more remarkable not only as it's made using stop motion animation but also because of the characters and subject matter it tackles.

Mary is an 8 year old outcast living in the suburbs of Melbourne. On a whim, she chooses a name at random in a phone book and sends off a letter asking about life on the other side of the world. The letter is received by Max, an overweight depressive in his 40's living in New York, suffering from Aspergers Syndrome. A friendship is born as the pair exchange letters over the next 20 years. offering each other support, advice and the chance to see life through another set of eyes.

While the world is painted in gloomy hues of brown and grey and the characters lead bleak lives, the genius of the script is that the characters never wallow or feel sorry for themselves. The tone is kept humorous and balanced allowing us to be moved by the characters as they stumble through life but also laugh at their foibles and observations of the world they struggle to fit into. Not since Muriel's Wedding has Australia produced so fine a comedy with such rich detail and I probably got even more laughs out of this.

My only criticism of the film would be some of its music particularly its use in one key scene of the Humming Chorus (already used so memorably in the finale of Heavenly Creatures). It meant that in a critical moment I was thinking of Kate Winslet up to no good instead of connecting with Mary & Max. But this is more a personal concern and if that's the weakest thing about the film, it's doing pretty well. I hope this film is seen by the wide audience it so richly deserves.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Australia | USA

Language:

English | Yiddish

Release Date:

12 March 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mary and Max See more »

Filming Locations:

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD8,240,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,740,429
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Melodrama Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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