Anomalisa is hauntingly beautiful, not to mention one of the best films that played at Fantastic Fest this year. It’s like a nightmare you’ll be glad you had, and with its year-end release not far off, you can finally get a taste of what you’re in for.
Don’t let its upbeat tone fool you. While there’s certainly humor to be found, and the odd ray of optimism piercing through the fog, Kaufman’s latest is as surreal and heartbreaking as anything he’s ever worked on, which is a big deal considering he’s the mind behind Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Synecdoche, New York. It’s a movie about a cynical motivational speaker, and the movie is arguably cynical itself, but not in a way that feels morose. Despite fitting perfectly into Kaufman’s weird wheelhouse, Anomalisa is as true-to-life as it gets.
You can read Devin’s review (quoted in the trailer and on the poster below!) here. All I’ll say about it is that there were times this work of puppetry made me afraid to experience the rest of my life, but other times it put those fears to rest by preparing me for an inevitable mid-life crisis. It’s weird and sweet and funny, and features what is probably American cinema’s best-shot sex scene in years. But most importantly, it makes devastatingly good use of the stop-motion medium, weaving its strengths and weaknesses into its very fabric.
A lot of trailers tend to go overboard with their pull-quotes, but this is one where I found myself agreeing with every single one. The film comes out December 30th.