Mary and Max

Mary and Max

(2009)

Animated comedy-drama from Adam Elliot, the director of Oscar-winning short Harvie Krumpet (2003). It's the tale of two unlikely pen pals: Mary Dinkle (Toni Collette), a lonely eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max Horovitz (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a forty-four-year-old, severely obese Jewish man living with Asperger's syndrome in New York. Spans a twenty year period, charting the ups and downs of their lives.

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Flicks Review

This is the feature film debut from Adam Elliot, whose Oscar-winning short film Harvie Krumpet set him on the trail of loveable eccentrics. His latest project targets Mary and Max, two exceptional losers leading a mundane existence on the fringe of society, finding solace in their heartfelt pen-pal letters to each other.... More

The stop-motion animation features an array of grotesque faces, each revealing comical yet sad-sack personalities. Mary (voiced by Toni Collette) is a frumpy, lonely young girl living in a sepia-tinted Melbourne, while Max Horovitz (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a forty-four-year-old, severely obese Jewish man living with Asperger's syndrome in a black and white New York. Their longing for a kindred spirit leads to an ongoing correspondence with each other over the following 20 years, revealing the minutiae of each other’s lives, rich with black humour and visual wit.

There’s plenty of narration (almost constant) courtesy of Barry Humphries, giving the feel of a children’s tale, but this isn’t for kids. The film doesn’t shy away from covering some mature topics, broaching sexuality, suicide and mental illness yet never becomes heavy or depressing. On the contrary, Mary and Max is a real delight, constantly amusing and deeply moving. I strongly recommend.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 3 ratings, 4 reviews
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A triumph of animation and heartfelt emotion. Wonderfully moving, warm, dark, funny and sad. The two characters reside in a lovingly detailed but bleak and colour drained world which emphasises their depressed melancholic lives. Philip Seymour Hoffman voices the character of Max to perfection. A beautifully made film, one of my favourites this year


Targeted at kids! Is not for kids! My 7 year olds watched this with me! Hey critics! Wake up, stop thinking you are all so good because you review movies! Obviously you do not have children!!!! PG rated!!!!!!!! WTF!!!!! She tries to hang her self and overdoses on valium!!!!!! He tries to kill someone! He gets electric shock therapy!!!!! NOT FOR KIDS DICKHEADS!!!! SELFISH MORONS... YOU PARENTS SIT DOWN AND WATCH IT BEFORe YOUR KIDS DO! THIS IS NOT A KIDS MOVIE!!!!!!!! director writer,... More who ever you are? Thanks for traumatizing my kids you creeps!!! everyone here has forgotten one thing! You only think of yourselves.... selfish pigs!!! This movie is rated PG! For KIDS!!!!!!!! I need to now undo the damage in my childrens heads thanks to bulls-it censorship in Australia! .... Censorship people do not have children obviously!!!!! MORON Ar-EWipES!!!!!!! Needs a definite M Rating!!!! Losers!!!!!!!!Hide


haha i love that harvey crumpet one and i always wanted it to be longer! so this will most definaly be cool!


BY D-F-Stuckey superstar

From the oscar-winning author/animator of HARVEY KRUMPET comes a delightful adaptation of a true story. The delightful childish optimism and growing intellect of Mary clahses in a hilarious way with the flat, matter-of-fact to the point of rude Max ( Hoffman in rare form ) and their relationship and correspondence is heartwarming without being cloying and oversweet, and realistic wghhile being madcap hilarious at the same time. Eric Bana scores for his short and perfectly played role as Mary's... More love interest ( Which is pretty much telegraphed to the audience as doomed, but that's part of the humour ) an dthe absolutely brillinatly paced narration by Barry Humphries sets the whole story off perfectly.

For a non-CGI animation, the film is also packed with amusing little background details that will have you laughing between the frequently arriving humour in the main story. The light touch of humour even extends to several sad and tragic moments, like an ordinarily rather disturbing suicide scene and numerous natural deaths that actually have people laughing with genuine humour not the typical art-house schadenfruede - Life, this movie asserts, is always humourous even in our worst moments even without the view from long after.

While not a suitable film for very young children, I can see that young teens might just get a very good picture of life form this film - as well as some great laughs at their younger selves in young Mary, and the vagaries of the adult world. And I challenge anyone not to laugh at possibly the worst use of Doris Day's "Que ser sera" in motion picture history. Go see it :)Hide


The Press Reviews

95% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • As a Sundance opener and an official Berlin film fest entry, the film clearly has creative credentials, but I'm not sure what segment of the public, other than committed festival customers, will find it wholly satisfying. There is heartbreak aplenty, but we not so much feel it as intellectually absorb it; there is humour aplenty, too, but it's bottled up, so we can recognise it, without laughing at it. I wanted to laugh and cry - and should have. Full Review

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