Disclaimer: Spoilers. Kind of. I think. They’re not really spoiler spoilers because they don’t give away much. I sort of allude to stuff. You know what this ain’t my struggle; I’ve seen the film already, you should too.
David Thewlis – Michael Stone
Jennifer Jason Leigh – Lisa
Tom Noonan – everyone else*
First, a play before reaching the silver screen; Anomalisa cleverly explores what it is to be dissatisfied with life. To our protagonist, Michael, everyone other than himself looks and sounds the same**; the people around him are all pasty looking cookie cutter of everyone else. That is until he meets Lisa while on a trip promoting his book on customer services. Although he’s married and has a son, Michael and Lisa become romantically involved for the night. What becomes of their romance is for you to see if you decide to give this R rated animation a go. Oh, and if you’re wondering what the ‘Anomalisa’ means, it’s a term Michael coins in the film; it’s an amalgamation of Lisa + the word ‘anomaly’. Meaning Lisa is the first person to spark intrigue in Michael as she’s a true individual.
The generic face used for everyone other than Michael and Lisa is hella creepy, especially when it’s used for female characters. But maybe the plan was to make them look so jarringly ugly you really wouldn’t want to give your attention to anyone but Michael and Lisa.
- The generic face used to portray the secondary characters is a clever and economical way of demonstrating the lack of individuality Michael sees.
- It’s a unique form of animation and when you look at how Michael and Lisa’s faces move you can see the animators were really striving for something close to realism. I can only ever commend the people that work on these productions for the time and effort they put in.
- The film was actually funny which was a nice surprise, I expected it to be all drama but the comedy definitely helps draw you into the narrative.
What is it to ache? I don’t know. What is it to be alive?
*this isn’t even an exaggeration
** is this narcissistic? Absolutely