Film Spotlight: Mary and Max

If you like dark comedies, then I recommend the charming 2009 Australian stop-animation feature film, Mary and Max.

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Adam Elliot is brilliant. His first 22 minute stop-animation, Harvey Krumpet (2003), won Best Animated Short Film at the Oscars. He writes, animates, and directs his own work. His wry sense of humor and characters with unfortunate luck and invisible lives have catapulted the career of the Melbourne native. His full featured film in 2009 had me laughing and crying from start to finish.

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Mary Daisy Dinkle is eight and from Australia. She has an unsightly birthmark, a rooster for a pet, and a mother who likes her sherry and stealing. Little Mary is very lonely.

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Max is a forty-four year old Man with Asperger Syndrome, addicted to chocolate, and lives a solitary life in NYC. These two share a pen-pal friendship for decades and their lives are sad and hilarious as they take turns giving each other advice on how to cope with life.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is the voice of Max and plays the gritty, NYC accent perfectly. Barry Humphries is the narrator and gives that proper British feel to it like you were watching Thomas the Tank Engine. But Mary and Max is much darker and the audience is for adults not little children. Their two lives are bizarre and believable. We all have the nutty neighbors and flawed family members. The animation characters will make you laugh. It’s refreshing to see stop-action again since computer graphics have taken over the film making industry. Want to see something different and good and dark and funny? Give this a go.

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15 thoughts on “Film Spotlight: Mary and Max

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    1. I just played it. Humph. It works for me. Well, all you have to do is go to youtube and search “Mary and Max” trailer. There’s a couple. It would give you a good sense about what the film is like. It’s charming.

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