Friday, 16 October 2009

Mary and Max

1976
Mary is a lonely girl of 8 from Australia with a mother that cooks a lot with sherry and a father who works in a factory and stuffs dead animals.

Max is a lonely man of 44 from New York with a fish, a canary and a cat, no friends and a half-blind neighbor who occasionally cooks for him.

She hates the birthmark on her forehead. He is member of the Anonymous Overeaters.

She is inquisitive, brainy and imaginative. He is atheist, logical and literal. Both are lonely.

So when one day she picks a name from a phone book (though it would be unlikely that an American phone book can be found in an Australian grocery store) and writes him, it's the beginning of an unusual pen friendship across the continents.


Review
This film is truly a gem among animated movies. It has more laughs then some comedies, but it isn't one. It's moving and sometimes very sad, yet it's not a tear-jerker. It features a chubby girl and a weird older man, but somehow it never crosses any lines (though it may step on some). Its design seems to be made for children, but the film - in expression and themes - is most definitely aimed at an adult audience. If follows the ups and downs of the exchange between Mary and Max, as she grows older and he grows wiser, well, and vice versa.

The film features wonderful voice performances by Bethany Whitmore and Toni Collette as young and adult Mary (respectively), Philip Seymour Hoffman as Max and narrated by Dame Edna Everage... uhm... I meant Barry Humphries. Written, directed and designed by Adam Elliot, who won the 2003 Acadamy Award for Best Animated Short Film (Harvie Krumpet).

Advice
If you like clay animation and adult subjects dealt with humour, honesty and openess, then I strongly suggest watching this film.

Trailer
video
For promotional use only.

Links
Mary and Max Official Website
Adam Elliot Official Website

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