Blu-ray Review: Anomalisa

Anomalisa Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Paramount | DIRECTORS: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman | CAST: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan
RELEASE DATE: 6/7/16 | PRICE: DVD $29.99, Blu-ray $39.99
BONUSES: three featurettes
SPECS: R | 90 min. | Animated drama | widescreen enhanced for 16×9 TVs | 5.1 DTS-HD | English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese subtitles
RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio   | Video  | Overall

AnomalisaLike its title suggests, Anomalisa is an anomaly, which fits right in with the other movies from writer Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich), who also co-directed this film.

The model-animation film explores the idea of identity, and in one of the featurettes on the Blu-ray, we learn that Kaufman was inspired by a type of paranoia that makes a person believe that every other person in the world is the same. In Anomalisa, that paranoid person is Michael (voiced by Harry Potter‘s David Thewlis), a customer service expert who’s on a business trip where he’s going to give a talk about creating great customer service.

In his hotel, Michael is obviously unsatisfied with his life and goes looking for stimulation. He finds it in Lisa (Heart of Midnight‘s Jennifer Jason Leigh), a woman with a scar on her face, who stands out in the sea of everyman faces and voices of every person (all voiced by Hair High‘s Tom Noonan) around him.

Michael isn’t the most likeable character, another staple of Kaufman’s protagonists, and the storyline is slow at the beginning, plodding through the minor details of Michael’s journey from the airport to his hotel. But viewers who are patient and like their entertainment with a touch of the odd will appreciate the artistry and romance of Anomalisa.

The animation too is extremely well done, and when you watch the featurette “None of Them are You: Crafting Anomalisa,” that’s even more impressive. The interesting special feature includes interviews with Kaufman and the voice actors as well as details the enormous amount of work that went into film—and the problems, including running out of money a number of times to the piont that their tools were reposessed.

The Blu-ray contains two other featurettes, both equally interesting: “Intimacy in Miniature” looks at the movie’s sex scene, which Jennifer Jason Leigh said was the most intimate sex scene she’s ever played as an actress, and her partner was sitting six feet away. “The Sound of Unease” looks at the sound of the movie, which was purposefully left unperfect—like life.


Buy or Rent Anomalisa
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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.