David Thewlis is an author who writes about the art of customer service that finds himself so bogged down by the mundanity of his life, that when something slightly out of the ordinary happens he pounces upon it. But will he really be able to escape the cycle of life he is trapped in.
Anomalisa is one of those ever so rare “adult animations” which when you say it out loud sounds kinda crap and weird, but Anomalisa is neither of those things. It’s actually one of the most human films I’ve seen in the last five years. It’s a very unique movie which you’d struggle to properly categorise I found. It doesn’t quite fit into the slot of realist drama, nor that of comedy though elements of both appear. Magical realist animation is probably the closest you are going to get. It’s also a bit of a sleeper hit movie. It crept up on me, so after say 40 minutes of watching I realised I was completely enthralled and by this point the film hasn’t even played its ace yet. But I’m not going to spoil that for you.
I think the secret to this film’s success is (this is going to sound odd) how normal it is. How much like a live action movie it is without being as such, how normal the depiction of everyday life is. It’s a beautifully crafted social satire which towards the end develops a really poignant bite that will stay with you moths after viewing. David Thewlis is excellent as the put upon protagonist struggling with his own life structure, while Jennifer Jason Leigh has put in a very strong shout to make 2016 her year already (what with this and her scenery chewing excellence in The Hateful Eight). However the star to this film is Tom Noonan, who plays everybody else. Literally.
My one niggle with the film is that I felt at around the 70 minute mark the film has a fork in the road as to what kind of film it wants to become and I thought it took the safer route. Don’t get me wrong it’s still absolutely knock out, but it could have been even better. However this is probably just me.
Overall, Anomalisa is a must watch. I don’t think you’ll see another film like it for quite some time, and while I wanted even more for the final third it didn’t stop me loving it to pieces.