Ideally, Anomalisa would clear the current year’s Academy Awards in a comparative way to that of Slumdog Millionaire in 2009. Notwithstanding, an energized film has never won the ‘best film’ Oscar, not to mention the recompense for ‘best chief’, and in the event that regardless we can’t work through a glaring race issue, then it is far-fetched that we turn our consideration regarding impressively lesser insults. The way things are, Anomalisa is edge for casing the most grounded, most imperative film included on the current year’s program, yet does not show up in its shortlist of best movies, and will likely miss out to the populist decision, Pixar’s Inside Out, for the best enlivened element class it is named in.
I’m uncertain to what degree I ought to expound on Anomalisa, a supernatural yet strikingly reasonable prevent movement film from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and Synecdoche, New York (2011) driving force Charlie Kauffman, as, to a point, endeavoring to clarify the magnificence of its vision is fairly excess, and I will just serve to cheapen the general survey experience thusly.
At its bare bones, Anomalisa is a film about love. It deals out both breathtaking joy and harrowing sadness, a bipolar, volatile and complex film that, as one critic summarised, is the most human film of the year but does not feature a single human – Anomalisa is a piece of cinema to reassure you in your darkest days and simultaneously, a cathartic, tragic and surreal experiment in the medium of film.
It is the story of Michael Stone (Voiced by David Thewlis), an ageing customer service guru touring his motivational book through the United States, and delivering speeches to industry professionals and eager fans alike.
Michael hears every voice but his own as an identical monotonous drawl, with every other character in the world voiced by Tom Noonan, including Michael’s wife and child. Additionally, every character except for Michael is depicted by an identical model, with only clothes and hairstyles to distinguish them. The narrative takes place almost entirely within the confines of a Cincinnati hotel, where on the last stop before home, Michael hears a new voice and sees a new face, both of which belong to Lisa, the apt ‘Anomalisa’ of the title.
Where this year’s nomination shortlists were almost predictable to the point of tedium, and even more so now officially announced, there was only one film from the lot that struck me as a work of art with some chance at longevity, a film that could potentially have a life after the climax of this year’s ceremony, and maybe even eventually be considered as a classic or canonised, and that film was Anomalisa.