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Anomalisa (Bilingual)

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan, David Thewlis
  • Directors: Charlie Kaufman
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: June 7 2016
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B018IEN326
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,262 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

From the Oscar-winner who brought you ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND and BEING JOHN MALKOVICH comes a riveting new masterpiece. Michael Stone – husband, father and noted author – travels to Cincinnati to speak at a customer service conference. But once he’s separated from the routine of his daily life, a chance encounter helps him to realize just what, and whom, he’s been missing. Love, laughter and loneliness align in Charlie Kaufman’s “staggeringly inventive” (Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly) stop-motion work of art.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I like Charlie Kaufman, I like stop-motion animation. I like that this movie began on Kickstarter and went on to receive an Oscar nomination. "Special" is a good word for this movie, but that does not mean I fully enjoyed it.

At it's core, the story is about a middle-aged married man who has a one-night affair in a hotel. From a artistic point of view, the filmmakers did a great job - Michael Stone's dissatisfaction with life is cleverly portrayed, making the most of the animation medium. All characters have the same face, and all have the same voice actor, and the viewer slowly understands what Michael must be feeling. It makes Lisa's introduction all the stronger, for she (like Michael) has a unique face and voice, making her a breath of fresh air when we awkwardly meet her halfway through the movie. The level of detail in the sets and sound effects is uncanny - the hotel room looks like every hotel you've seen, and background characters fill the world with life.

The writing is generally sharp, poignant with bits of comedy sprinkled about ("it's zoo-sized" might be one of my new favourite quotes). The movie is mostly grounded in reality, but when it does enter some of the more surreal moments, it becomes all the more exciting.

... but at it's core, the story is about a middle-aged married man who has a one-night affair in a hotel. While this movie shows these internal struggles of the lead character better than any other book or film I know, it still feels disgusting to think about. There is a sex scene, unedited and lengthy, when the female was initially against it and ultimately this element felt unnecessary in an otherwise earnest story or in explaining Michael's state of mind.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Although the story line about a man starting an affair on a business trip is not my cup of tea, I do admire the technical details that went into the animation. The couple of supplement features in the blu-ray disk are I like more. Wish there had been more special features included. Overall, Kaufman fans should not miss this film.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Beau film, très intelligent. Parfait pour les fans de Charlie Kaufman.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Just what I was hoping for.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa5d1f6d8) out of 5 stars 142 reviews
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa634a5d0) out of 5 stars A melancholy and amazing work of art Jan. 23 2016
By Paul Donovan - Published on Amazon.com
1. Charlie Kaufman, responsible for writing blindingly original and strange movies like Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Adaptation, has reappeared after a 7-year absence by writing and co-directing this odd and beautiful allegory.

2. The fewer details you know about the story beforehand, the better. It's designed to slowly reveal what's going on, and you'll get the most out of it that way.

3. The basic plot is about a self-help author who is so deeply unhappy with his life that his brain is re-interpreting reality for him. Then he meets an unhappy woman, and the results are... interesting.

4. This is an animated movie, but it's made for adults. There's swearing, nudity, sex, and alcohol.

5. The foundation of the movie is very melancholy, but it's also extremely funny in parts.

6. It's made with stop-motion animation, but it moves much more smoothly than most of those type of films. The puppets were created using 3D printers. The results are fascinating and a little unsettling.

7. Even though it's surreal and trippy, it manages to hit on an essential Truth about life that may not have been able to be explained in any other way.

8. If you need movies with definite events and concrete explanations, then you will want to avoid this movie.

9. This movie is one of those rare specimens that you understand deep inside yourself, but you may have trouble finding the words to explain it. It's a remarkable piece of art.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa634aae0) out of 5 stars You don't notice the unremarkable in daily life until you watch it Jan. 5 2016
By Frosty Cold One - Published on Amazon.com
A few points / warnings about Anomalisa to put it into perspective:

🎭 The stop-motion animation took 3 years to do, and is what sets Anomalisa apart from other movies in recent [past decade] memory. The disquieting realism makes you question how Anomalisa was made; at first I thought it was based on the motions of actors, like A Scanner Darkly, which used live action footage later animated over.

🎭 Most of it takes place at the Hotel Fregoli. The Fregoli delusion is a rare disorder in which a person holds a delusional belief that different people are in fact a single person who changes appearance or is in disguise (Wikipedia). The plot will make more sense knowing this.

🎭 Written and co-directed by Charlie Kaufman, the mind that brought you Being John Malkovich.

🎭 I don't care what people say, there's something creepy about the puppet sex scene here; although not intended to be similar, it's nonetheless a far cry from the humorous puppet sex scene in Team America: World Police. It will surely lead to some negative reviews simply due to its realism. After the scene, Anomalisa becomes surreal once again.

🎭 The heartfelt, cringeworthy speech given by the protagonist towards the end displays every bit as much emotion as you could expect an actor to muster -- but it's a puppet!

🎭 You don't notice the unremarkable in daily life until you watch it: when every character has the same voice, the banality and predictability that hides in plain sight becomes unveiled.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6315cb4) out of 5 stars A Small, Beautiful Film April 29 2016
By AlwaysStartingOver - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I'll admit to being a Kaufman fan. I love his screenplays. In a movie industry so hell-bent on profit at the expense of originality Kaufman is one of the few who appears to want to do more than simply line his pockets by whatever means necessary. "Anomalisa" is not a particularly complicated film in terms of plot: the story is straightforward enough - an author and motivational speaker on a business trip meets a woman who, with a friend, has come to see him deliver a talk on the topic of customer service. When compared to the intricacies of "Adaptation" or "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" this is a threadbare plot. Kaufman substitutes mood for narrative complexity, giving us a glimpse into the unfolding, creeping mental dissolution of the antagonist - Micheal Stone, voiced by David Thewlis, most notably of the wonderful film "Naked" where he gave a magnificent and powerful performance - and the damage that this breakdown has caused in the lives of those with whom he comes into contact. The hotel where Stone stays the night is a reference to the mental disorder from which he suffers - the belief that all the individuals a person encounters are really just one person in disguise. This is enhanced by the voices of the characters - each of which is practically indistinguishable from one another throughout most of the film. In its own way "Anomalisa" is a small triumph of a film in a world of bombastic comic book superheroes and vapid sequels. The climax of the film, such as it is, dissolves into the mundane world of encroaching suburban insanity into which Stone will sink. It is not happy nor particularly sad but lies in an ambiguous nether region between the two. Kaufman is aware of audience expectation and he almost seems to shrug his shoulders with indifference at the desire for a resolution that wraps up the story neatly and allows for some emotional catharsis. We are left adrift, watching from above as Stone - in his home surrounded by party guests - is left to his own crumbling devices. As always in the worlds Kaufman creates, nothing is as it appears to the either audience or characters.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa634acc0) out of 5 stars Charlie Kaufman Being Charlie Kaufman: another strange trip that's worth taking Jan. 24 2016
By Paul Allaer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
"Anomalisa" (2015 release; 90 min.) brings the story of Michael Stone (voiced by David Thewlis). As the movie opens, we see Michael arriving from LA at the Cincinnati airport, as he's scheduled to give a presentation on customer service the next day. Michael checks in in his hotel in downtown Cincinnati, and after a disastrous rendez-vous at the hotel bar with his ex, Michael eventually makes the acquaintance of Lisa (voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Emily, two women who drove down from Akron for his talk. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: first and foremost, this is the latest brainchild of Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich; Adaptation; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, etc.), and to state that he is pretty unique in the movie business would be an understatement. I'll go see anything that this guy comes up with, yes, he is that unique (and that good). Here, he takes yet another direction, spinning a story of a loner, and presenting it in stop-motion fashion. On top of that, other than the two main characters having their own unique voice, all the other characters, both make and female, are voiced by the same person (Tom Noonan). Even though the two settings couldn't be more different (Tokyo vs. Cincinnati), the movie made me think more than once about Sofia Coppola's "Lost In Translation" (including the themes of loneliness and self-doubt). Beware, even though this is stop-motion, there are several scenes with explicit nudity, so if that bothers you... Last but not least, there is a very nice orchestral score for this movie, courtesy of Carter Burwell. And then there is the a-cappela version of Cindy Lauper's "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" by the Lisa character...

The movie opened last weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati, and I finally had a chance to see it this weekend. The early evening screening where I saw this at was attended okay but not as well as I had expected. Given the multiple Cincinnati references in the film (down to Cincinnati chili), there were quite a few laughs and reactions from the audience during the showing. That aside, if you like Charlie Kaufman and all of the weirdness that entails (in the best possible way), you cannot go wrong with this. "Anomalisa" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa634e024) out of 5 stars Incredible Jan. 19 2016
By wiredweird - Published on Amazon.com
This is some of the best stop animation ever. The puppets are beautifully put together, and their gestures and motion are wonderfully natural. There's one self-conscious moment - yes these really are puppets - but that's more acknowledgement than self-parody. Five stars, maybe six, for the everything that makes this animation work.

Then there's the plot - somewhat dark, even a bit disturbing. The lead character, a motivational speaker, enters the crisis point of a mid-life crisis, without realizing that's what's happening. In his own fragile state, he seduces a woman even more emotionally fragile than he is. She exits the brief affair reasonably happy, despite his thoroughly questionable behavior towards her.

And yes, there's the sex scene. Different viewers will respond differently to it - despite its realism in many ways, I found that the dolls dampened any eroticism I might have seen, like two manikins posed intimately together. In any case, this is definitely not one for the kiddies.

And, even though the animation bordered on magical, the emotional burden is not one I really enjoyed seeing.

-- wiredweird, reviewing the release to theaters


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