Sunday, April 4, 2010

Animation. MARY AND MAX

International Narrative Feature Films
Australia, 2008, 92 mins., color & b/w

{Mary and Max} is unique. A claymation animation by Academy Award–winning filmmaker Adam Elliot (Harvie Krumpet), it tells the simple story of a 20-year pen-pal friendship between two very different people: Mary Dinkle, a chubby, lonely 8-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max Horowitz, a 44-year-old Jewish man, who is severely obese, suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, and lives an isolated life in New York City. It is very much a triumph of emotion, insight, and eccentricity—a complete delight.Animation's ability to capture the intricate complexity of life has never been on display in as absorbing fashion as with the storytelling of this Australian filmmaker, who truly makes you forget what you are watching. The originality of the voices in this ever-spinning kaleidoscope of innocence and idiosyncrasy comes straight from an incredibly rich imagination and complete artistic vision. This desire for acceptance and love amid the pain of existence is masterfully narrated by Barry Humphries and fleshed out by the voices of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Toni Collette.This film that explores friendship, autism, taxidermy, psychiatry, alcoholism, where babies come from, obesity, kleptomania, trust, copulating dogs, sexual and religious differences, agoraphobia, and more, and is rooted in a very personal relationship, is proof of why we go to the movies and a truly exceptional portrait of compassion and love.

Director(s): Adam Elliot
Screenwriter(s): Adam Elliot
Executive Producers: Mark Gooder, Paul Hardart, Tom Hardart, Bryce Menzies, Jonathan Page
Producer: Melanie Coombs
Cinematographer: Gerald Thompson
Editor: Bill Murphy
Production Designer: Adam Elliot

* Toni Collette as Mary Daisy Dinkle
* Philip Seymour Hoffman as Max Jerry Horowitz
* Eric Bana as Damian Popodopoulos
* Barry Humphries as the Narrator
* Bethany Whitmore as Young Mary
* Renée Geyer as Vera
* Ian "Molly" Meldrum as Homeless Man

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