Thursday 28 July 2011

Mary and Max!

I'm going to do something I have never actually done before - review a film. A friend of mine who loves animation picked up Mary and Max by chance. She tends to collect most animated films and couldn't pass this one up. She then loaned it to me and I don't know if I should love her for it or never forgive her because I just spent some part of it sobbing my heart out.

The film is about friendship and acceptance. Mary is from Australia and she is lonely. She is a little girl with no friends and very little attention from her parents. One day she finds a New York phone book in the library. She has a lot of questions about America and so decides to write a letter. Max's name is chosen at random.

Max is also lonely. He's a grown man who always tells the truth (which leads to some very funny moments) and has trouble making friends. In fact one of his life goals is to have a friend. After a small break down he decides to write back and the two strike up an unlikely friendship.

This is one very sweet and yet hilarious film. Both Max and Mary don't understand that there are some things you just don't share which lead to some very funny letters. I found myself laughing most of the way through it although there were some things I probably shouldn't have laughed at. I wasn't expecting the slightly dark turn near the middle but it was necessary to highlight some of the series aspects of the film (such as mental illness, depression and alcoholism).

Toni Colette I immediately recognised as the voice of Mary. I have always liked her as an actress and she was perfect for Mary. Unfortunately for her I think she was drowned out by the man who voiced Max. I had to look it up to discover that it was Philip Seymour Hoffman. Completely unrecognisable which I think shows just how talented this man is. He certainly was able to bring Max to life.

As for the animation itself I loved it. The colours were muted which fit in with the film and the mannerisms of the characters were perfect. The soundtrack was also done well I felt. For me music is also a nice addition. It doesn't make a film for me (although I would certainly miss it if there was none and I do have a few favourite soundtracks). In this case though it was very much a part of it. It noticeably increased the mood at certain parts.

I think I am going to have to go out and by myself a copy.


  1. I will have to see this! There's some great French animation out there that this reminds me of. I wish more was doen for adults though I do love the family films too.

  2. That sounds awesome. I just checked out the trailer ( and it looks amazing!! Just my kind of movie. Will have to get my hands on this one.

  3. Ellie, as I was writing this review I was actually thinking of you. Going by some of your previous posts I think it would be right up your street.

    Rachel, it was fantastic. Definitely worth a watch.