Mary & Max
Mary & Max follows the fictional tale of a neglected 8 year old from the Melborne suburbs, Mary, and her accidental pen pal, a 44 year old Jewish man living in New York , called Max. Each has their very own worlds – Max’s is a grey monotone, Mary’s is more sepia toned – and there own issues. Mary’s main issue, besides an alcoholic mother, is loneliness and lack of social skills, where as Max’s issues have to do with over eating and Asperger’s Syndrome.
How, you may be asking, did the two become pen pals?
Mary, looking for a way to escape her world picks an address by random from a New York phone book she is flicking through as she waits for her mother to ‘borrow’ something from the post office. Mary and Max seem to hit it off, though their relationship is always teetering on the edge of doom – mainly dues to Max’s Asperger’s Syndrome not allowing him to cope with some of what Mary writes about. But it’s a relationship that only grows stronger through their ups and downs and outlasts every other relationship Mary has in her life, including parents and her brief marriage.
Animated using the time-consuming method of claymation, Mary & Max has a delightful visual style, but is coupled with a story-line that will either grab you or loose you in the first half of the film. It is an engrossing story, but it takes a long time to get going. It’s sly humour and social commentary is not the stuff of the more lighthearted (and brightly coloured) compatriots in the animation genre. Think of Mary & Max as an obscure independent film, rather than a cartoon (as many people seem to mistake all animated fare as) and you’ll have a better expectation of what to expect, and thus have a better chance at enjoying this unique story of love in it’s many forms.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Release date: April 7th, 2010
Stars: Toni Collette, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Eric Bana
Length (Minutes): 88
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Supported Audio: Dolby Digital Surround 5.1
Director: Elliot, Adam
Studio: Warner Bros