The First Official Trailer for Charlie Kaufman’s Mind-blowing Anomalisa
We got a chance to see Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation, Being John Malkovich) and Duke Johnson's stop-motion masterpiece Anomalisa at the Middleburg Film Festival, and we were floored. The film centers on Michael Stone (voiced by David Thewlis), a customer service expert whose giving a speech at a convention in Cincinnati. While there, he meets a shy, insecure woman named Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh), and an immediate connection is created. The film's funny, very odd, and almost devastatingly human—leave it to Kaufman to, as Esquire's Matt Patches wrote, create "the most human movie of the year, and it doesn't star a single human." It's that rare film that just sticks with you for hours, then days, after you see it.
The above synopsis of the film does it no justice. There are uncanny elements that defy description; you really will need to see it to appreciate just how unsettling and intriguing Kaufman and Johnson's choices are. Take, as just one example, the fact that every other character in the film save for Michael and Lisa are voiced by Tom Noonan in various registers. This slight sameness becomes, slowly but surely, unbearable, as Michael desperately yearns for a real connection, finds it with Lisa, and then almost immediately starts to lose it. Then there's the attention to detail, which is staggering; from Michael's minibar in his hotel room to the shimmer on Lisa's lips in closeup, Anomalisa is visually astounding while simultaneously landing one emotional uppercut after another. There are sequences of astonishing beauty, like the opening shots of Michael's plane flying through the sunlit clouds, and sequences of unsettling creepiness, like a scene in which Michael has to descend into the bowels of his hotel to speak with the manager.
The trailer is a touch (or two) more upbeat than the film actually is. This is a truly unique piece of work that needs to be seen and discussed, but the trailer should give you enough chills to whet your appetite for more.