Charlie Kaufman is the brilliant writer of films like Being John Malkovich, Adaptation., and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. He made his directorial debut with Synecdoche, New York back in 2008 (he also wrote that film), and now he's moved into stop-motion animation for his newest film, Anomalisa. The movie has been playing at film festivals for the past few weeks and critics and attendees are raving about it, calling it one of the best films of the year. Here's the 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. The darkly comedic and surreal stop-motion journey of a man's long night of the soul, ANOMALISA confirms Charlie Kaufman's place amongst the most important of American filmmakers, and announces Duke Johnson as a major creative force.
I've seen several people already call it a masterpiece, and apparently the people at Paramount agree, because they've just announced that they'll be distributing the movie in theaters starting with a limited release on December 30th in New York and Los Angeles. This is great news for people who decry the constant release of mega-budget blockbusters, because this movie definitely doesn't seem like something a major studio would distribute and it'll give the film an opportunity to be seen by millions of people.
The movie (which, here's some trivia for you, was executive produced by Dan Harmon from Community among others) raised some of its funds through Kickstarter, and I've embedded the campaign's original pitch video below: