Sunday 24 July 2016

Review: Anomalisa (2016)

It felt like a lifetime waiting for this movie to be released in the UK! I swear I would move country just to see movies like this earlier. Anyway. I’ve always been a fan of animated movies, and since my Media course in College, I’ve had a real appreciation for the work that goes into it. I produced a 30 second claymation in class that took 2 months, and boy, does it require a lot of patience. 

Anomalisa (2016) is a fantastically quirky movie that not only took 3 years to create, but it was brought to life thanks to the 5,770 crowdfunders on Kickstarter that collectively raised over $400,000. It follows roughly 24 hours of our main character (voiced by David Thewlis) living his mundane life. When he happens to meet Lisa (voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh), his life looks as though it may change.

I’ve tried to stay away from too many detailed reviews of this movie until I’d seen it myself, but one of the comments that came up often were to do with the fact that it’s so easy to forget that this is an animated movie. Now, that’s a testament to the fantastic work of the animators to create characters and a world that seem so lifelike, but honestly, I would urge anyone to do the opposite, and constantly remind themselves that this is in fact animated. It makes those intricate details that much more fascinating.


Maybe I’m geeking too hard over it, but such simple details like a swinging ‘magic tree’ air freshener in the taxi, or the ice machine in the hotel just had me in awe. Those are things you wouldn’t even think about in a live action movie, but it took hours to film those brief moments. 

This is one I’ll be buying on DVD for sure once it’s released, I think a second viewing will be rewarding. I got really distracted after a while at the fact that every character other than Michael and Lisa were voiced by the same person (Tom Noonan). I tried to tell myself that it was probably down to budget constraints, but I couldn’t shake it from my mind. Of course, it all got explained eventually (and it was a beautifully painful moment) but I definitely missed some details along the way.


There’s one scene in particular that was incredibly difficult to watch, and I’ll try and explain without going into spoiler territory, because this isn’t a complaint in an obvious sense. It’s an intimate scene, and I felt awkward, but not because I’m typically British and things like this make me embarrassed anyway, but the scene was so well done it kind of felt that by watching, I was intruding. Does that make any sense? It’s hard to explain.

The bottom line is, I loved this movie, and would recommend it to others. It’s not for everyone, and you have to be in the right kind of mood. Above all else, don’t try to forget that it’s animated, and appreciate those little details!


  1. Great review! I missed this when it was in theaters and it's been sitting in my Netflix queue for a while. I hope I like it as much as you did when I get to it.

    1. It's such an odd movie, I honestly can't prepare you enough for the weirdness. After a few minutes though you really do forget that it's an animation.
      - Allie