First Trailer for Charlie Kaufman's ANOMALISA

The first trailer for the latest directorial effort from the unique Charlie Kaufman has arrived and makes the film look to be something more optimistically aspirational than what it actually delivers. The spot also stands to make the movie seem a bit more all-encompassing than what is presented. I understand the approach Paramount has taken with the film after acquiring the rights, but I will be interested to see if general audiences pick up on this pitch. The trailer certainly enlists the many quotes that have lauded the film since it made it's debut on the festival circuit earlier this fall, but I wasn't as high on the film after seeing it at the Toronto International Film Festival as most (you can read my full review here). While I understand what Kaufman and co-director Duke Johnson are going for in their stop-motion film I simply didn't think it achieved these goals as effectively as most have given it credit for. In dealing with many of the same themes as most Kaufman films (Adaptation, Synecdoche, New York) this latest experiment scales things back to a simpler state where the complexities of such existential ponderings aren't all-consuming. What I enjoyed most about the film were the keen observations that perfectly summarize the vapidness of the majority of our interactions on a daily basis. This, paired with the chosen visual style is rather inspired as not only does it allow Kaufman and Johnson the chance to visually illustrate what might have otherwise been conveyed through dialogue, but it also allows a rather uninteresting story to be told in an interesting enough fashion. Anomalisa features the voice talents of David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan and opens in limited release on December 30th before expanding wide in January.

Synopsis: Michael Stone, husband, father and respected author of “How May I Help You Help Them?” is a man crippled by the mundanity of his life. On a business trip to Cincinnati, where he’s scheduled to speak at a convention of customer service professionals, he checks into the Fregoli Hotel. There, he is amazed to discover a possible escape from his desperation in the form of an unassuming Akron baked goods sales rep, Lisa, who may or may not be the love of his life. A beautifully tender and absurdly humorous dreamscape, from the brilliant minds of Charlie Kaufman (SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK) and Duke Johnson (“Community” episode, Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas), this stop-motion animation wonder features the vocal cast of Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan and David Thewlis and a stirring strings-based score by Carter Burwell.

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