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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BY Andrew Hedley Flicks Writer
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
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Mary and Max
BY Allo2JasonIsaacs lister
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
BY D-F-Stuckey superstar
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