Directed by Adam Elliot
Starring Toni Collette, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Eric Bana
(Unrated - PG-13 level content)
4 stars (out of 4)
Mary and Max is the absolute best claymation film I've ever seen. It's quite the technical achievement, but what makes it truly special is the story. Not only is this story heartwarming and inspirational but the script is one of the best I've seen in years, in any genre.
There are some PG-13 elements to this film that may make it unsuitable for children. The adult elements are mostly sexual references, but they are at least thoughtfully phrased. The most disturbing scene features a young girl standing on a table with a noose around her neck and holding a bottle of medicine. Its not so much that these topics are taboo, its just that children will be asking hard questions after seeing them. This film is all about hard questions though.
The story features Mary who lives in Austrailia and picks a random name out of a New York phone book to become pen pals with. Max is the lucky person to be her random recipient. Mary and Max forge a powerful bond and a unique love for each other even though they never meet in person. Max has emotional issues and in a way Mary is the only person he can express himself to properly. Mary has family issues and sees Max as her only friend. There relationship lasts from the time Mary is a little girl until she's been married, then divorced.
Don't be afraid to rent this because it seems childish, its not, and you'd be keeping yourself from one of the best films this decade. I expected to see a Wallace and Grommit style comedy, but instead was treated to a masterful, awe-inspiring tragedy. This is a movie you should make an effort to see.