*** (out of four)
DIRECTED BY Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson
STARS David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Anomalisa (Photo: Paramount)
An Academy Award nominee this year for Best Animated Feature, Anomalisa is decidedly not one for the kiddies. The latest work of out-there innovation by Charlie Kaufman, this latest effort may not match the acerbic brilliance of the Kaufman-scripted gems Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but it should prove to be right up the alley of anyone looking for something different in their moviegoing diet.
Based on an experimental play created by Kaufman, this employs stop-motion animation to relate the tale of a miserable man (voiced by David Thewlis), his contempt for, and boredom with, all the people surrounding him (all voiced by Tom Noonan), and the one woman (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who manages to break through his malaise. The visual style is unique but occasionally off-putting, making this more chilly than necessary. But there are some sly moments of dark humor, and the film's final revelations involving its melancholy protagonist provide a satisfying kick.