Friday, 14 May 2010

Mary and Max: DVD Review

Mary and Max: DVD Review

Mary and Max
Released by Warner Bros Home Video
Voices by Barry Humphries, Toni Collette, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Eric Bana

This beautifully funny, wry and affecting stop motion claymation film tells the apparently true story of an Australian 8-year old girl, Mary, socially outcast and awkward.

One day in 1976, she decides to start a pen friendship with a random name she pulls out of the phone book.

That person turns out to be Max, a 40something clinically obese, diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, NY resident.

So they begin corresponding and an unlikely friendship grows thanks to the extraordinary frankness of these two penpals.

Mary and Max is a beautifully dour piece of claymation animation, tinged with a sadness and dark (at times bleak) humour.

It's narrated by Barry Humphries (aka Dame Edna) and has its main characters voiced by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Toni Collette - it's hard to pin down exactly what its appeal is.

It's a nice mix of humour in unexpected places - laugh out loud funny in some and reflective in others. There's also some sadness in the film but overall Mary and Max is a crowd pleasing treat. It takes a little while to get used to - but before you know it, you've invested so much in this delightful pair and are hanging on every letter to be delivered between these two unlikely penpals.
Mary and Max is just a sweet and oddly engaging film; it's dripping with poignancy and black humour - and a real celebration of the simple joy of unadultered friendship.

Rating: 8/10 

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