Anomalisa (2015)

Written by Charlie Kaufman, Directed by Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman

Cast

David Thewlis…                 Michael Stone

Jennifer Jason Leigh…    Lisa Hesselman

Tim Noonan…                    Everyone else

 

Questions

This was originally written as a ‘sound play’ and was later adapted for the visual medium. What is the role of sound and voice in this film? Are the accompanying visuals fitting and successful?

  • Why was it important to make this film with stop-motion animation rather than flesh and blood actors? What do you feel about this style of animation? Is this a beautiful film?
  • What about the voice casting decisions? Assess the performances of Thewlis and Leigh, as well as the decision to have Tim Noonan voice every other character.
  • How would you sum up the ‘atmosphere’ created by Kaufman in one word only?
  • What do we want from a film? Do we need to feel good and the end to feel we’ve had a worthwhile cinematic experience?
  • Why do you think Kaufman chose to set this story in a hotel?
  • To what extent did some of the sexual elements in the film jar with the fact that it was an animation?
  • A quotation from the main character, “Sometimes there’s no lesson. That’s a lesson in itself.” To what extent do you think this is true of Anomalisa? Is it a film without a lesson?
  • How would you compare this film to Lost in Translation?

Trivia

 The hotel where Michael stays is called the Fregoli. The ‘Fregoli delusion’ is when someone believes different people are all actually the same person in disguise. How does this relate to Michael’s state of mind? Is this what he believes is happening?

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