The Morning After: Feb. 8, 2016

Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what movies I’ve seen over the past week. Below, you will find short reviews of those movies along with a star rating. Full length reviews may come at a later date.

So, here is what I watched this past week:

Anomalisa


If you ever questioned how twisted the mind of Charlie Kaufman was, take one look at his new stop-motion animated feature Anomalisa and you’ll get it. Starring the voices of David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tom Noonan, Kaufman and co-director Duke Johnson have meticulously crafted a compelling feature about the mundanity of life and the need to find something different.

Thewlis voices Michael Stone, a motivational writer and speaker whose insights into customer service have garnered him fame and attention. Arriving at a speaking engagement in Cincinnati, Stone tries desperately to seek out companionship that will get him away from his lackluster home life in this far-away city. After a meeting with an ex-lover doesn’t pan out, his night is turned upside down when he hears the lovely and distinctive voice of a young woman, Lisa Hesselman, who provides him with a unique outlook on life. An outlook that might never last, as most one-night stands often don’t.

Kaufman is accustomed to jarring his audience with strange stories, unusual situations and a frankness that belies his depravity. This animated feature is not appropriate for children, its adult humor, language and sexual encounters push it right into the adults-only arena where it really needs to be. Like Richard Linklater, Kaufman wants to use the medium to explore areas that aren’t always easily accessible. Could this have been done with live actors, yes, but some of its impact would have been muted. As a forewarning, if all the voices start to blend together in you’re mind, just know you aren’t going crazy. Noonan literally voices everyone else in the film, both men and women. It’s initially disconcerting, but it has a point that won’t fully realize itself until Leigh’s character arrives.

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