A tale of friendship between two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a forty-four-year old, severely obese man living in New York. (IMDB)
Writer: Adam Elliot
Director: Adam Elliot
Stars: Toni Collette, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Humphries, Eric Bana
Runtime: 92 Minutes
Popcorn Score: Large Popcorn
I couldn’t recommend more highly a touching little “clayography” film from Australian Academy award winning writer/director Adam Elloit (Harvie Krumpet) titled “Mary and Max”. The film that opened the 2009 Sundance Film Festival features the voices of Toni Collette as Mary, Philip Seymour Hoffman as Max, Barry Humphries and Eric Bana. It captures you minutes into the film with its interesting Gumby-2.0 visuals and it’s truly engaging story that touches on everything from autism, alcoholism, sex, suicide, procreation, obesity, to many of life’s other problems. I was skeptical of the movie originally because I thought it was a Pixar type children’s movie that crosses genre’s and appeals to all audiences, those movies are cute, but I fortunately don’t have children so can enjoy them as sparingly as I wish. I am very glad that my wonderful girlfriend grabbed it from the shelf or I never would have even noticed it. The PG rating that it is given is surprising due to many of the subjects it breaches. This is definitely a film for adults. It is more moving than it is funny but there are laugh out loud moments. It ends sad yet you finish with a satisfied feeling.
As I mentioned I was hesitant to put it in the DVD player. I was going to watch one of two movies, “Mary and Max”, or “Dog Day Afternoon” (Al Pacino, John Cazale, a classic, but two different movies to say the least) so I decided I would go to the IMDB rating, the later came in with a score of 8.1 out of 10, Mary and Max; 8.2. I popped it in and never looked back. And today I am really happy that I did!