The most human film of the year (review)

“What is it to be human? To ache?”

This is the question at the centre of Anomalisa – the brilliant new offering from Charlie Kaufman, who wrote Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

In a thought-provoking and poignant piece of introspective cinema, a character-driven story unfolds around Michael Stone – a well-known self-help author and speaker – on an overnight business trip to Cincinnati.

As he moves goes through the motions – shown in hilariously minute detail – and spends a night at the Fregoli Hotel (named after a paranoid psychological condition), it becomes clear just how stifling a world he lives in. Not surprisingly, Michael has trouble connecting with those around him and begins to suspect he is falling apart.

But then he meets Lisa – a shy, awkward anomaly in the system who is extraordinary in her plainness and yet manages to have the audience onside within mere moments.

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