Writer: Adam Elliot
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Toni Collette, Barry Humphries, Eric Bana
A hilarious yet moving claymated animation about an unusual pen-pal friendship between a lonely middle-aged New York man with Asperger’s syndrome (voiced by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) and an eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia (Toni Colette).
Made by Australian writer-director Adam Elliot, who's won an Oscar for his previous claymation short Harvey Krumpet, with an animation style done mostly in a gray to black palette and an overall droopy look, the film is funny, tender-hearted, humanist, compassionate and although emotionally devastating, one of those that keeps you entertained and refuses to depress, brilliantly making you laugh at moments where typically one we would be very emotional.
Plot summary from IMDb: In the mid-1970's, a homely, friendless Australian girl of 8 picks a name out of a Manhattan phone book and writes to him; she includes a chocolate bar. She's Mary Dinkle, the only child of an alcoholic mother and a distracted father. He's Max Horowitz, an overweight man with Asperger's, living alone in New York. He writes back, with chocolate. Thus begins a 20-year correspondence, interrupted by a stay in an asylum and a few misunderstandings. Mary falls in love with a neighbor, saves money to have a birthmark removed and deals with loss. Max has a friendship with a neighbor, tries to control his weight, and finally gets the dream job. Will the two ever meet face to face?
Awards: 4 wins & 7 nominations.
Runtime: 92 min
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