Saturday, September 18, 2021

Mary and Max (2009) directed by Adam Elliot

 This stop motion animated film by Adam Elliot and based on his correspondence with a friend in New York for over 20 years. Voice talents include Philip Seymour Hoffman, Toni Collette, Eric Bana and Bethany Whitmore. 

The basic story is the long distance friendship between a  lonely young girl who lives in Australia who randomly sends a letter to New York after finding max's name in a phone book and asks him where babies come from the United States. Max is has Aspergers syndrome and, after panicking about receiving the letter, responds and the two begin a back and forth that goes on for decades. 

The film follows the two and their relationships changes over the years was Mary grows up and Max has his own changes over the years. They lose contact for a time but they continue to inspire each other .

This film is without a doubt a black comedy... some of it is pretty bleak and depressing even with a layer of comedy painted over it. The characters are very endearing nevertheless less and the animation is stylized and original. Mary's world is sepia-tones while Max's new York is in black and white. Both have splashes of red here and there. There is a lot of child abuse in this movie, in Max's history and Mary's [present and it sort doesn't get better as time goes on but the bond between them helps them cope and survive. 

I want to avoid spoilers in case anyone decides to see this, but I will say it ends in a touching but heartbreaking way and it made me cry. Partly from sadness and partly from Mary realizing how important she was to Max.

Not exactly a fit for the whole family and it is a challenge to deal with the subject matter. It is well worth watching and VERY far out from most films I've seen and can be harrowing but well worth travelling the journey it takes you on. 

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