Mary and Max (2009)
Directed by: Adam Eliot
Starring (voices): Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Toni Collette, Eric Bana
This is another quirky clay-mation, stop-motion-go British film similar to ‘Harvie Krumpet’ which I have detailed on a ‘To Queue or Not to Queue’ post previously. You will be hard pressed to find a bigger proponent of clay-mation or stop-motion-go than yours truly. There is something about the depth and the character that is so much greater and adds so much more to animation as an art form. This film does nothing but add credence to my argument.
‘Mary and Max‘ is a film that is rich in theme and definitely not for kids. I recently spoke in a review of the film ‘Rango’ about how I long for a time when animated films are truly appreciated as an art form and are not looked at as child’s play and movies that can’t be for adults. This is a step in that direction. This is a film that is all about finding an acceptance for other people and for yourself.
The story is mostly told in letters to and from Mary and Max to each other. These two social outcasts find solace in each other and through their seemingly incoherent ramblings we learn about their socially awkward lives. We learn that each one yearns for acceptance and to have friends. Max tells Mary about how he wonders why he is looked at as abnormal when everyone else who is ‘normal’ clearly doesn’t live in society by the rules that they themselves have defined. The world does not make sense to him.
Mary has a birthmark on her forehead that people make fun of and parents that could care less about her, especially since she was an ‘accident’ to begin with. They do not provide her with any love and she finds herself not fitting in to the world around her.
These two slowly learn that they can accept each other, and in the process have learned to accept themselves. It is a very poignant message and one that makes this movie all the better. It truly is remarkable the emotions a small little clay-mation movie can stir up. This one is definitely one you all should queue.