Anomalisa and Grimsby
While I usually list my reviews in the order I saw them, I cannot do that this time as just writing the Grimsby Review, made me hate cinema. Luckily my faith in the artistic validity of the medium was utterly reinvigorated by the magnificent Anomalisa.
This astonishingly human Stop-Motion animation completely and effortlessly drew me in, almost to the point where there were moments when I refused to blink. This film insists on being focused upon, and not in a negative way. The subtle means of its storytelling are such a delight to behold, it’s not immediately apparent what is happening and why, but by the time you realise, you are invested thoroughly with this character and his life.
The shining cinematography, beautifully understated score from my new favourite composer Carter Burwell (Carol, Hail, Caesar!, and Mr. Holmes just in the past 12 months) and stellar voice acting from all three cast members, all serve the sublime beauty that is the script and story. I genuinely cannot sing this film’s praises highly enough.
If you’re looking for an adult stop-motion animation, which is beautiful, thought provoking, weird, and at its core human, then Anomalisa is a film that you should DEFINITELY SEE.
If I could go back and amend my best of 2015 list, I would easily put this above The Martian yet still just below Inside Out and Room. This film definitely affected me just as much as the Top two, but in completely ways and for completely different reasons. Where Inside Out and Room, targeted the primal emotional reactions, Anomalisa targets the intellectual and psychological.
Please do not even read the following review, nothing that this film has to offer is worth any attention whatsoever. I am only writing the following for a sense of professional integrity, that is slipping away the more I think about this movie.
I had no intention of seeing this movie at all, until I heard how astronomically absurd the set pieces were. Liam Gallagher impersonator Sacha Baron Cohen and Estranged Brother / ^”Secret Agent”^ Mark Strong hiding from the “villains” inside of a Female Elephant (please use your imagination, this description is painful enough as it is) and are then accompanied by a Male elephant with more conventional intentions, is a sequence that will unfortunately never be forgotten.
Putting the movie’s horrendous sense of ^humour^ aside, what is left is vomit-inducing, saccharine-drowned, unappealing melodrama, and inconsequential, incomprehensible action sequences. Cliché, after cliché, after cliché, followed by a Deus-ex-machina or two, basically sums up the structure of this film, making it almost torture to watch. Although it could be used as A Clockwork Orange style of Mental Reconditioning if the ^soundtrack^ was drowned out by Beethoven.
In regards to another of the more tasteless jokes, if you are going to use REAL people as the source of a joke (in this case namely Daniel Radcliffe) at least find a good lookalike, or do as you did with Donald Trump (the one segment of this joke I don’t disagree with) digitally overlay their face, if they unsurprisingly do not agree to appear on set.
Unsurprisingly I recommend that this movie is definitely one that you DO NOT SEE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, it doesn’t even fall into the “So bad it’s good category”, it’s just bad.