Anomalisa

This film may qualify as one of the worst movies to be nominated for an Oscar. See it and tell me if you disagree.

AnomalisaEvery year a large group of national movie critics praise a film that I find to be profoundly disappointing. As noted in an earlier review, Carol falls into that lamentable category, and it is now joined by Anomalisa. Directed by Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman, it is a dismal film that drowns under the weight of its adulation. It is astonishing that this film has received an Oscar nomination in the animated film category.

As I watched it, I was left shaking my head in disgust. It is an insulting waste of time. It should be noted that co-Director Charlie Kaufman struck pay dirt years ago as the screenwriter for Being John Malkovich (1999), Adaptation (2002) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). However, all of those films are over 10 years old and his only recent contribution, Synecdoche, New York (2008), was a cinematic wreck.

In short, this film tells the story of a middle-aged man who is experiencing marital problems as he travels to Cincinnati to give a business speech. After checking into his hotel, he does little more than drink booze in his room combined with martinis in a local bar while he tries to bed young women attending his conference. He proves to be one of the most unlikable individuals I have seen on the big screen in the last several years.

I could go on, but there is absolutely no reason to do so. Quite frankly, I couldn’t help but wonder if the diversity dilemma facing Oscar voters is a product of an in-bred country club mentality.

More to the point, setting aside the issue of race, how was it that Cate Blanchett (Carol) and Jennifer Lawrence (Joy) were nominated for average films while Charlize Theron was ignored for her masterful role in Mad Max: Fury Road? Along that same line, try to tell me why Best of Enemies was ignored in the documentary category while several other films of lesser quality were nominated? And if you really want to focus on the diversity issue, try to explain how the voters ignored the fantastic performance of Michael B. Jordan in Creed while choosing to recognize Sylvester Stallone?

In any event, there is not a single character in Anomalisa who possesses the slightest redeeming value. While I don’t want to judge any aging man who wants to get laid on a business road trip, I’d rather talk to old friends in a local tavern than pay good money to watch an overrated film.