James Milstead’s review published on Letterboxd:
MARY & MAX (12)
D: Adam Elliot
Icon/Melodrama (Melanie Coombs)
Australia 🇦🇺 2009
W: Adam Elliot
Mus: Dale Cornelius
voices of: Toni Collette (Mary), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Max), Eric Bana (Damien), Renee Geyer (Vera), Barry Humphries (Narrator)
Mary & Max is a stop-motion animation film from Australia aimed at a more mature audience, since it deals with adult themes such as depression, mental health, anxiety and other societal issues.
The Mary and Max of the title are two pen pals from opposite sides of the world who share their problems with each other. Mary a bullied outcast due to a birthmark on her forehead, whilst Max is a sufferer of Aspergers Syndrome. Ultimately, their long distance friendship inspires each other to succeed in life.
I'm sure that this film's heart is in the right place, but the subject matter, coupled with the animated visual style makes for incredibly depressing viewing. Personally, I prefer my animated media to have a little more pep in and would rather this type of story be reserved for a live action drama.
I can appreciate the nobility of it all, but this really wasn't a fun film to watch.