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Thursday, December 3, 2009

[8.50/10] Mary and Max (2009)

Mary and Max (2009)

A beautifully-animated film with dialogue that is witty and wise and wonderful, "Mary and Max" is a marvelously-made claymation! It's an intriguing tale, starting in the mid 70s, of the ongoing true friendship of two long distance pen-pals, younger Mary in rural Australia and older Max in the rat-race of New York City. There is much in the way of telling via the voice-over of the wondrous Barry Humphries and yet the visuals provide us with an extra layer on information, working with the voice-over rather than being hindered by it. Occasionally it goes on too long, but Adam Elliot is incredibly brave in wanting to tell this story his way. Aside from stylistic similarities to his earlier shorts, he has remained true to himself. He thanks a lot of people in regards to his script; its clear he has made the effort to get it right, proving the basic notion in screen writing, is to get right on the page first folks. The script is a gem, finding the humor in a rather grim tale, without ever being patronizing to the characters or their plight. If anything, he manages to reinforce their humanity. The film has been immaculately designed, with many tiny details and features placed into the sets, all of which would have taken many countless hours to mould. The lighting and colour scheme too are significant to the unique look of the film, ranging from highly saturated to almost entirely black and white, to reflect the self-depreciative and sometimes gloomy tone of the narrative. It is a film made of great patience and craftsmanship. "Mary and Max" is simply unique animated film! It's without a doubt one of the best animated pictures of the year, together with Henry Selick's "Coraline" and Pixar's "Up". "Mary and Max" is a potential Oscar winner!

  • My Rating: 8.50/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 92% (7.7/10)
  • IMDb: 8.3/10

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