Anomalisa Review

Director(s): Duke Johnson & Charlie Kaufman

Starring: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan

The Overview

Michael Stone (Thewlis) is a motivational speaker in the customer service industry. Feeling overwhelmingly disjointed from the world, he attempts to reconnect with an old love, before meeting Lisa (Leigh), a woman who stands out like no one else has done before. 

The Good
Wow. There’s so much I could say about this film, but yet it’s one of those films I don’t want to say too much about, because I firmly believe it is one which needs to be experienced. 

Anomalisa is thought provoking, very odd, and very Charlie Kaufman! The stop-motion animation is both horrifyingly realistic, and unnervingly unrealistic. The joins on the puppets faces serve as a constant reminder that they are not real, but there are moments when it not only looks but feels real. It is supremely odd, affecting and absolutely beautiful. 

The mundanity is crippling, every face horrifyingly similar, ever voice exactly the same. It’s a startlingly immersive journey into the subconscious as we explore the feelings of overwhelming loneliness alongside Michael Stone. 

It has a slow plodding pace but yet the second the credits roll you’ll check your clock to see whether it really has been 90 minutes. It is a small contained story that feels like it’s about 20 minutes long. It’s a curious thing, but this short film will have a lasting impression. It is completely mesmerising and utterly compelling. 

It’s a beautiful story about the fragility of humans that will make you question everything you’ve ever known; in short, it’s fantastic!

The Bad

I’ve thought about this long and hard, and come up with nothing. I loved everything about this film, but I understand it might just be too odd for some, and that is fine!

The Verdict

I saw this movie and you should too. You’ll be left with tons of questions after this film and it will prompt lots of discussion as you unpack the 90 minutes you’ve seen, but what a rare gem of a film this is. It will haunt you for weeks and leave a lasting impression. It says so much in saying so little, it is haunting in its melancholy, and truly memorable. An absolute must-see if you can find a cinema showing it! 

Agree with everything I’ve said, or am I a terribly misguided idiot who has got it all wrong? Please let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to share as well. 


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