Mike Torchic’s review published on Letterboxd:
I've said it time and time again that I adore Charlie Kaufman. All of his films in some way, shape or form have connected with me and Anomalisa is no different. Anomalisa is a fantastic film that is just shy of perfect.
The plot follows Michael Stone, an author who travels to Cincinnati for a conference. Michael's life is very mundane and he hears everybody as if it's one voice. This all changes one night when he meets Lisa, a Customer Service representative in town to hear Michaels speech. One Michael meets Lisa he fees rejuvenated. I really enjoyed the plot to this film! While it is short, it covers so much ground in its hour and thirty minute runtime. My only problem with the story is that a few characters were kinda throwaway type characters. I wanted more backstory on what happened with Bella, Michaels old girlfriend and how that affected his life. One other thing is that I felt that the ending was a bit rocky. Once it ended something just felt missing. Other than that, the rest of the film was phenomenal! Charlie Kaufman understands human exist and and the human psyche like no other screenwriter. He constantly brings up questions like why are we here? The simple answer is we don't know, but Kaufman tries to incorporate this theme into all of his films with every character having their own take on it. A great example of this is the character of Caden Cotard from Synecdoche, New York. He believes that we are here to make our mark on the world and he does that by creating an elaborate stage play. Michael is a conflicted individual. He's depressed by the mundanity of his life as well as his relationship until he meets Lisa. Lisa makes him realize that she's truly unique and stands out. Everyone has experienced the feeling of Mundanity and depression, like Michael. Everyone has also experienced feeling awkward and shy, like Lisa. These two people have vastly different lifestyles and behaviors that they were destined to stand out to each other. While it's not as emotionally intense as Kaufmans other works, it's still a damn fine story with a lot of heart and meaning.
The voice acting is phenomenal! David Thewlis does a great job at bringing Michael Stone to life. You can see a change in his voice from the time the film starts to the time he meets Lisa. Speaking of Lisa, Jennifer Jason Leigh was phenomenal in her performance. She brought the quirky and insecure personality of Lisa to life with her beautiful performance. Why hasn't She won an Oscar yet? Seriously Academy, I know she was nominated for the Hateful Eight but give the woman an Oscar goddammit! She deserves it. Tom Noonan plays well.......everyone else. Seriously, aside from Thewlis and Leigh, Noonan provides the voice of every other character regardless of age or gender. Needless to say, his performance was really good and contributed to the fact that everyone else but Lisa is the same.
The direction by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson is spectacular as well as the writing by the former. The choice to make the film stop motion was a risky one, but it payed off in the end. Even the smaller things like the creases in Michaels shirt or the reflection of light on the dolls faces let me know that extreme care was put into the making of this film. Even some of the more intimate or intense scenes were shot and executed so well that you wouldn't realize it was stop motion. It was just that seamless and well executed that it was the highlight of the film for me.
The music by Carter Burwell is fantastic! It's as beautiful and graceful as it is haunting and mysterious. Much like the animation, this was one of the things that made the film for me. It's just so good that I can't put it into words.
Overall, Anomalisa may not be perfect but it's still a damn great film with a killer premise and stunning animation. Please support this film and make sure that Kaufman gets to make another film!
I wonder how many people are going to scream too low in the comments today.