Caught this film at a last minute matinée at ArcLight Hollywood. It's a stop motion animated film about a British author, voiced by David Thewlis, coming to Cincinnati for one night for a conference and his time spent in a first class hotel.
At the beginning I was impatient with it, I thought it might be just a stop motion South Park episode, where all the voices are pretty much the same. Then when the character of Lisa came on the screen, it all changed for me. I got it, it clicked.
The film is so disarmingly simple in its beauty and elegance. The relationship between the two main characters really touches you. Plus I'd never thought I'd be moved by the singing of a particular well known 1980s pop song in the film.
The role of Lisa was a diamond in the rough character, a beautiful, flawed girl whose been wrongly ignored romantically and it just takes the right person to see how fantastic she really is. It made me think of the times I wished I'd had a Lisa in my life and the times I was fortunate enough to have one. Lisa was voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh in a performance that fooled me, I was so drawn into the character I had no idea it was her, I only saw Lisa as Lisa.
While not a perfect film, it won me over and works on many levels, the filmmakers, Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, leave it largely up for the viewer to decide what the film is about. Is the lead character insane? Is he in Limbo, his own private Hell, is everyone a robot, wearing masks literally? Does he see oil painting beauty in someone one day and the next sees only cracks and flaws? Who can say?
One thing though, voice actor Tom Noonan, albeit talented, should never sing again, ever. Never again, Dollarhyde, never again.
Anomalisa, or as I call it, A Mona Lisa, is the same as the iconic painting that is its namesake, kind of a thing of flawed beauty.
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