The long wait for a new Charlie Kaufman movie is over and I’m happy to say that the wait was worth it. Anomalisa is a wonderful movie in every way, my favorite so far at Fantastic Fest, and one of my favorite movies of the year. Not only that, but it can hold up Kaufman’s other movies, which set an incredibly lofty bar for any other movie to surpass.
Anomalisa tells a story of the mundane, of the little details we encounter on a daily basis. Grating small talk we’re forced to muscle our way through, awkward silences, and less-than-graceful moments. It also tells a story about love, and what makes love exciting, and why in the end it may not matter because you may not be able to do anything about it.
Truthfully, there aren’t that many central conceits a movie can be based around. Love, loss, birth, death… many movies are just a variation on one of those themes. But it’s interesting that so far at Fantastic Fest, two of the best films (this one and The Lobster) both cover love in beautiful-yet-sad ways. Love is in the air, but so is depression.
Anomalisa is slated for a December 30 release, and you should see it as soon as you possibly can. In the meantime, watch some of Kaufman’s other work — like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation., and Being John Malkovich — and revel in their weird wonder. This film belongs right there with those, and is worth your time.