Film Review: ANOMALISA

AnomalisaDirected by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson
Written by Charlie Kaufman
Featuring the voices of Tom Noonan, Jennifer Jason Leigh and David Thewlis

Anomalisa, Kaufman’s stop-motion animation feature is set in a number of numbing settings (taxi, airport, hotel, restaurant, sex toy shop) that contribute to the loneliness (perhaps self-induced) that is its middle-aged male protagonist’s condition. Other people have no affect for or on him, and in fact, speak with the same voice, share a similar face.  Only Lisa, soon named Anomalisa, (Leigh) has a different voice and makes some inroads in permeating his walled-off state.

This would make it seem like a movie about a man I should feel very sorry for. Because surely he is enduring a deep depression. Instead though, I watched a man (very successful in business) who is too narcissistic, even cruel, for me to pity. This may be only my interpretation. Perhaps you would take pity on him and interpret his actions as born of mental illness or psychic distress. Any detailed look at what I find him guilty of would serve as spoilers. Recommended for its ambiguity mostly.

Patti Abbott
In addition to being the Crimespree Senior Film Critic, Patti has penned numerous short stories and her debut novel, CONCRETE ANGEL, is in stores now. She hosts a look at Forgotten Books every Friday with readers, writers and reviewers at She hopes you’ll join in.