Mary and Max

April 9th, 2009








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Mary and Max

Mary and MaxMary and MaxMelanie Coombs and Adam Elliot at event of Mary and MaxMary and MaxMary and MaxMary and Max

Plot
A tale of friendship between two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a forty-four-year old, severely obese man living in New York.

Release Year: 2009

Rating: 8.2/10 (37,071 voted)

Director: Adam Elliot

Stars: Toni Collette, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Eric Bana

Storyline
In the mid-1970's, a homely, friendless Australian girl of 8 picks a name out of a Manhattan phone book and writes to him; she includes a chocolate bar. She's Mary Dinkle, the only child of an alcoholic mother and a distracted father. He's Max Horowitz, living alone in New York, overweight, subject to anxiety attacks. He writes back, with chocolate. Thus begins a 20-year correspondence, interrupted by a stay in an asylum and a few misunderstandings. Mary falls in love with a neighbor, saves money to have a birthmark removed and deals with loss. Max has a friendship with a neighbor, tries to control his weight, and finally gets the dream job. Will the two ever meet face to face?

Cast:
Toni Collette - Mary Daisy Dinkle (voice)
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Max Jerry Horovitz (voice)
Barry Humphries - Narrator (voice)
Eric Bana - Damien (voice)
Bethany Whitmore - Young Mary (voice)
Renée Geyer - Vera (voice)
Ian 'Molly' Meldrum - Homeless Man (voice)
John Flaus - (voice)
Julie Forsyth - (voice)
Christopher Massey - Additional Voice
Shaun Patten - Additional Voice
Carolyn Shakespeare-Allen - Additional Voice
Leanne Smith - Additional Voice

Taglines: Sometimes perfect strangers make the best friends.



Details

Official Website: Official site | Official site [Germany] |

Release Date: 9 April 2009

Filming Locations: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Box Office Details

Budget: AUD 8,240,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: AUD 156,169 (Australia) (9 April 2009) (49 Screens)



Technical Specs

Runtime:



Did You Know?

Trivia:
The postage stamps in the film used by Mary feature an image of Dame Edna Everage, a character played by comedian Barry Humphries, who also narrates the film.

Goofs:
Errors in geography: When the story about the character (Max's upstairs neighbor's friend) who buys a Ferrari is told, the car is shown as having right-hand drive. It's extremely unlikely someone in the US would buy a right-hand drive Ferrari, although of course that would be common in Australia where the movie was made.

Quotes:
Max Jerry Horovitz: I was born Jewish and used to believe in God but I've since read many books that have proven God is just a figment of my imagination. People like to believe in God 'cause it answers difficult questions, like where did the universe came from, do worms go to heaven and why do old ladies have blue hair. And even though I'm an atheist, I still wear my yarmulke as it keeps my brain warm.



User Review

Mary & Max - wonderfully unique and personal animation

Rating: 8/10

There's a constant stream of animated films these days, but mostly they're either glossy Hollywood product (Pixar/Dreamworks), or Japanese anime. For adults wanting something different we have to wait for the likes of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Waltz With Bashir, Persepolis, or Aardman's films to turn up. Mary & Max is one of these films that comes as a complete departure from all the others, both in visual and storytelling style, and sticks in the mind because of it. I won't repeat the plot here, so I'll just mention a few pros and cons. The cons are obvious. Some people will be put off by the almost constant narration (which took me a while to get used to), the rather numerous calamities (a lot more than you'd expect if you thought this was just a kids film), and the sadness within some of these people's stories. It's actually a little surprising that the film got made without the people financing it demanding a script that was more tailored to appeal to a wider audience. What we get is something that feels a whole lot more personal than the higher profile animated films. It feels personal, and therefore real, and the explanation is that it was written from life by a director who has a real feeling and sympathy for people who don't quite fit into the world, and feel alienated or are misunderstood by others. Mary was partly inspired by the director's own childhood (and there's a little bit of Toni Collette's Muriel Heslop thrown in I suspect), and Max is also based on a real person he's been pen friends with (but so far has never met in person). The way the film handles his Asperger's Syndrome just feels different to how you'd normally see such an issue handled on screen. There's a constant stream of humour (ironic, black, childish), and I really enjoyed the small perfect touches on growing up in an Australian suburb in the 70's and 80's, and the depiction of grey New York, as it appears to the easily frightened Max. The animation is constantly a joy to watch, and I highly recommend seeing it on the big screen where it can be properly appreciated in all it's hand-made glory.




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