Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
David Thewlis – Michael Stone
Jennifer Jason Leigh – Lisa Hesselman
Tom Noonan – everyone else
My first observation of this movie is how one of the lead actors seemed to ruin it brilliantly by voicing all – or at least 95% of – the characters himself. I’m sure Thewlis and Noonan thought they were being highly creative, but I personally found it incredibly tedious; listening to a man phone home and speak to his wife (male voice) and very young son (also male voice). The second his wife started speaking – I knew it was Michael. And the second his little boy started speaking – I rolled my eyes tediously. The little boy had the voice of a middle-aged husky man. Later on in the movie, female characters also have the actor’s flat monotone vocals. The hotel manager, the hotel staff, passers-by..
What on God’s earth was the point of this? Why did all characters have to be voiced by one man? Because it seemed to backfire, the fact all these different characters (who should have their own level of dynamic) were one and the same man. So in the end, you had these funny looking animated people – with no personalities. It didn’t help the actor’s voice was of an incredibly dull tone either. I can see the producers now:
Sat round a table, the producer gleaming with pride as he announces a new form of movie,
“..where all characters are voiced by the same man. It would add a whole new perspective, break creative boundaries. It would be like in a dream sequence where everyone this one man meets are actually him, thus portraying how he feels deep down emotionally in various situations..”, blah blah blah.
Or something like that.
And I’m guessing some critics thought Anomalisa was one of the most creative, personable movies they’ve seen in years – for those reasons mentioned above.
Personally, for a movie to win me over it has to have a gripping storyline (this movie was a man in a hotel, wandering around moaning at things).
It has to engage me fully with dinstinctive characters or situations (both Lisa and Michael were as sad and soppy as each other, with absolutely nothing happening between them other than a quick fuck and idle conversation about the fact they were similiar due to disliking the same things).
It has to be made up of elements which get me wondering, questioning, intriguing.. (man arrives at hotel. Man calls his ex-girlfriend to invite her over. She comes over. Leaves. Man then meets ‘Lisa’. Fucks her. Gives a speech at a business conference).
It has to contain observant humour or seriousness depending on the story (I can admit Anomalisa brought up a few hotel niggles I found witty because they do actually happen. Points here).
Only one element stood out for me during this movie’s entirety; the observant humour and dialogue. Scenarios such as ordering room service where the person on the other end of the line seems to take forever to write the order down. The hotel bellboy who hovers nervously in front of Michael talking complete rubbish, before uneasy silence. Random people being irritating. I liked this, it mirrored real issues of daily life. Points scored here.
Also the whole ‘robot’ aspect was sweet; how Michael’s face fell off a few times – although it is never explained as to exactly why – or what he is – it makes for a bizarrely entertaining watch.
I refuse to let this movie take up any more of my writing time. And I quote a man who exited the auditorium behind me with his girlfriend, “I didn’t see the point of it”..
In a nutshell – don’t bother. And if you do, just be sure you don’t pay a huge amount to see it. Stream or download for free. It’s not worth the sloppy sadness of it.