From Academy Award® winning writer/director Adam Elliot and producer Melanie Coombs (HARVEY KRUMPET) comes the hilarious and moving new claymated feature film about the pen-pal relationship between two very different people: Mary Daisy Dinkle (voiced by Oscar® nominee Toni Collette) is a lonely 8-year-old in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. Max Jerry Horovitz (Oscar® winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman) is an obese 44-year-old with Asperger s Syndrome living in the chaos of New York City. Over the course of 20 years and 2 continents, their unusual journey of friendship will explore autism, taxidermy, alcoholism, where babies come from, kleptomania, sexual differences, trust, copulating dogs, religious differences, agoraphobia and more of life s big and little surprises.
Mary and Max
, a Claymation film by Academy Award-winning animator Adam Elliot (Harvie Krumpet
), has just enough quirky oddity to distinguish it from Elliot's fiercest Claymation competitor, Aardman Animation (Wallace and Gromit
). Mary and Max
tells the story of a 20-year pen pal friendship between an 8-year-old Australian goth girl, Mary Daisy Dinkle (Toni Collette), and 44-year-old New Yorker Max Horowitz (Philip Seymour Hoffman). The film's humor throughout is rooted in a general malaise that afflicts both characters. Mary, who has an alcoholic mother, a dull father who works in a matchstick factory, and a grandfather who committed suicide by drinking ammonia, is quite fed up with her ensuing adolescence. Fortunately, she reaches to the right person, an agoraphobic man with Asperger's syndrome who wants friends but has no clue how to acquire them. As the story progresses, years lapse and the two learn to rely on each other in more intimate ways until conflicts arise that add tension to an already-packed narrative. The animation style, done mostly in a gray to black palette with an overall droopy look, enhances the melancholic feeling that exudes from this intriguing story. Funny details, too, make it suitable for kids, such as Max's never-ending passion for chocolate hot dogs. While the letters are shared with the viewer, read aloud by either Mary or Max, one discovers universal anxieties and how they can be remedied through friendship. When Mary asks, "Have you ever been teased?" Max has pages to draft on this topic. Mary and Max
is a uniquely bittersweet film starring two clay-sculpted outcasts that leaves one hoping for a sequel. --Trinie Dalton