A thought-provoking tale of one man’s loneliness crafted through the hands of stop-motion. This is Anomalisa.
Anomalisa is a melancholy film from the visionary mind of Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and Adaptation), who will keep your brain spinning as we visit a night in the life of Michael Stone (voiced by David Thewlis), a motivational speaker. Anomalisa is Kaufman’s most heartbreaking film to-date as viewer's dig deep into this existential movie affair.
The story is simple: a man, Michael, struggles with his inability to connect with other people, but it’s message blossoms into a bigger picture. It’s a haunting fable on the illusion of love and consequences, making it one of the best films of 2015. It finds an adult story and achieves its vision through animation. Michael is going through the motions of life by hearing the same voice over and over again in his head (that poignant voice being Tom Noonan).
That is, until he meets Lisa (voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh), a sales rep who worships Michael's very being. Something sparks between them and the story thickens. But will this candle of love last between the two? Or will Michael’s resentment and recrimination hinder that very existence? You’ll have to find out for yourself. During my screening an elderly couple walked out because it wasn’t their cup of tea.
Warning, this film is for fans of introspective cinema only and not ones who stay in their conservative bubble. In a world full of masked people, Anomalisa unveils the fakes. This provocative stop-motion tale of human intimacy will stump you and mess with your psyche. Anomalisa, in retrospective, is one of the most humane films of the year and it doesn’t star a single human.
Anomalisa is rated R (Restricted). For strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language.
A raw point-of-view film from the eyes of a concentration camp inmate. Son of Saul takes a look at a gruesome past with unforgettable results as it numbs your bones in this exceptional directorial debut from László Nemes.
An important film that drives viewers into the hells of the Holocaust. This Hungarian film reimagines the horrors that took place during that tragic massacre. Director László Nemes takes us into the eyes of Saul Auslander (Géza Röhrig), a Jewish prisoner at Auschwitz whose job is to burn dead bodies.
This film masterfully engulfs you because we only see what Saul sees as the rest of the background is blurred out for the majority of the film. This is not only skillfully crafted but well executed through the hands of Nemes. By blurring out the background, I believe that this was another way to show respect to the people who lost their lives during this horrific event.
The tension surges when Saul finds a boy who survived the gas chamber. After the boy dies, Saul makes the impossible goal to provide a Jewish burial for him. Is the boy Saul’s own son as he claims to be? Or is the boy a symbol for a greater loss? Son of Saul is not for the faint of heart, but it's a very important film on showing us why we cannot repeat the past with recent events. You don’t just watch this film, you live and breath it. Feeling every cry or scream move throughout your bones.
Son of Saul is a rare film that you won’t be able to shake off ... ever. Receiving an Oscar nom for Best Foreign Film of the Year; Saul has my vote and will hopefully take home the crown. Son of Saul is one of the best films of 2015 and receives 5 out of 5 stars. It’s formally riveting and emotionally shattering as we are guided through Saul’s weary eyes.
Son of Saul is rated R (Restricted). For disturbing violent content, and some graphic nudity.
Not even in a parental emergency case should Norm of the North be screen.
A waste of animation and talent, Norm is truly January junk. Bad news for this bear, he’s charmless, bland and boring for a horrendous 93-minutes. While the animation already looks dated that’s not even the half of it, the narrative is an uninspiring story that’s been recycled many times before. The slapstick humor and lack of visual direction will leave a sour taste in your mouth. It’s only February and Norm of the North is already one of the worst films of 2016 … yikes! Parents, save yourselves the money and sanity from this one. It receives zero stars, sorry Norm.
Norm of the North is rated PG (Parental Guidance). For mild rude humor and action.
For Your Consideration:
Mashley at the Movies
Next Best Picture
In Their Own League
Mike, Mike, and Oscar
The Movie Oracle