1 Man 365 Films 365 Days – Day 111

73 / 365 – ‘Mary and Max’ (2009) – 92 mins
IMDb Challenge #41 / 250 – Ranked #220 – Via DVD collection

A pen-friendship develops between Mary Dinkle (voices of Bethany Whitmore and Toni Collette), a chubby, lonely, eight year old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max Horovitz (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a 44-year-old, severely obese, Jewish man with Asperger’s Syndrome, living in the chaos of New York. Their correspondence reveals their fears, foibles and obsessions, including chocolate and a TV show. When Mary uses her newfound knowledge about Aspies for a book on the subject, Max feels used and abandons the friendship, leaving Mary despondent. She goes on with her life, sadly, with obstacles that include her parents and the young man next door, Damien (Eric Bana) who seems an ideal Mr Right ….

This was my first experience of this inventive, clever and wise, grown up story of life’s up and downs all told through the animated eyes and voices of pen pals Mary and Max. The claymation on display is wonderful, lively and detailed throughout, there is heartbreak and offbeat humor aplenty, where you are utterly absorbed by its narrative, as the unlikeliest best of friends encounter divorces, deaths, suicide attempts and lottery wins – through twenty eventful years.

This a tremendously moving and beautiful bitter-sweet gem that everyone should see.

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