Anomalisa ★★★★

This film wound up really disappointing me in the smallness of its ambition, given Charlie Kaufman's other mind-bending movies, but that's largely a problem of "It was so good, I wanted a lot more." Mostly the issue is that this is one of the year's most tender, evocative, and emotionally cogent films, to the point where its puppet-sex scene is probably the most accurate and believable sexual encounter I've seen on film this year. Certainly it has one of the year's most touching musical moments, in a sweet, sad scene of singing. It's so detailed and accurate in its portrayal of human emotion… and then it ends with an odd, abrupt sort of whimper. It feels like it could have ranked with Kaufman's best if it had taken a more time to explore the issues it raises, and fill out where it's going from here. Still has one of my favorite closing scenes of 2015, though.

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