Directed by Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman
Written by Charlie Kaufman
Definitely worth viewing. I would recommend this film to any indie filmmaker or budding animator. It’s done in a stop-motion style of animation using 3D printing similar to many recent stop-motion films for children/families. However with an R rating, this film is not for the family. The accomplishments are huge. The animation is smooth. The technique is seemingly flawless.
I can’t say I enjoyed the story, or the writing. This caught me off guard as my expectations of Kaufman are very high. It does not compare to ‘Malkovich’ or ‘Spotless Mind’ in writing or acting. The scenes can be lengthy and at times excruciating to sit through. If this were a live action film, it would be unwatchable. As a stop-motion animation, there is interest in the use of 3D to make a mundane world of sameness. It would work as a short film, but at a feature length loses interest.
The character acting and delivery of lines is great by Thewlis, Noonan and Leigh. The syncing of audio to image is perfect and really does it’s best at bringing the audience in to the story, but never does it feel human. And never throughout the piece do I get lost in the story. There is conflict and interest, including an amazing sex scene, but too much goes unsaid and unresolved. And the puppet sex scene feels more like puppets learning to have sex, than Mike Stone(Thewlis) and Lisa(Leigh) discovering one another. Kaufman’s dry humor is hysterical at times and sprinkled throughout the film to allow us small windows back into the story.
As far as a film about a mid-life crisis playing out in a hotel, this is a close second behind Barton Fink.