Directed by Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson
Running time: 90 minutes
Profound and unique, Anomalisa (2015) is an animated comedy written and directed by Charlie Kaufman, based on Kaufman's play of the same name from 2005. David Thewlis voices the character of Michael Stone, an expatriate Brit in the US who writes motivational books about customer service. Depressed and alienated from the world, Michael begins to realise that, in fact, all human beings are essentially the same until he meets a besotted fan, call centre worker Lisa in a Cincinnati hotel, voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh. Co-directed and animated by Duke Johnson, the film combines passages of real time with detailed puppet animation to create a masterful study of human isolation and existentialism. Apart from Thewlis and Leigh, every character in the film – from the hotel receptionist to Michael's embittered wife – is voiced by Tom Noonan, creating an added quality of dreamlike hallucination, where everyone sounds the same. As in Kaufman's script for Being John Malkovich, in Anomalisa, Michael is offered a sense of horrified perspective on his own self, within a movie that is equally scary and funny: one, extended vision of our modern, human condition.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.