To say that “Anomalisa” is a stop-motion film for adults is a misrepresentation. It would be more appropriate to refer to it as a stop-motion film full of adult content. I was shocked at the amount of profanity and graphic nudity (yes, somebody created those body parts with a 3D printer) woven throughout the story. I even had to distract myself for several minutes in the middle of the film to avoid watching the extensive adult scene, although hearing it was equally disturbing. Animated films don’t have to be for kids, but I find it unfortunate that the last family-friendly Oscar category has now been soiled by this extreme content. I don’t see this film as a masterpiece like many of the critics; however, the thought-provoking themes were not lost on me. The concept that the main character perceives everyone with the identical face and voice (including men, women, and tv characters) was absolutely fascinating and animation was the perfect medium to make this work. The monotony of Tom Noonan’s voice was driving me crazy, but I suppose that is one of the most important points in this story. The film also delivers a strong message about lack of contentment and how we get bored with what we have, though the dialogue did not need to be so mundane. Screenwriter Charlie Kauffman has written plenty of odd, psychological stories (including “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Being John Malkovich,” and “Adaptation”) but the gripping, edge-of-your-seat momentum of those films is completely absent from this one. Maybe we are supposed to experience the same boredom as the lead character experiences with life. I actually think a lot of the issues stem from the fact that this was originally supposed to be a short film and then it was expanded to a feature length. No matter where we choose to assign the blame, “Anomalisa” is a thought-provoking story that will make you reexamine your life while wondering why an adult toy store and a bunch of nudity are necessary to express the writer’s ideas.
[Pictured: Everybody looks and sounds the same to him - cool concept]