dir. Adam Elliot, Australia, 2009, 89'
Australian director Adam Elliot has earned wide recognition, primarily for his short-length film Harvie Krumpet. With its tragicomic plasticene protagonist, the film has brought him numerous awards, crowned by an Oscar. Mary and Max is Elliot's feature-length debut.
Two lonely souls – a girl called Mary living in the suburb of Melbourne, and Max, a New Yorker suffering from Asperger syndrome – inhabit two worlds of gnawing emptiness. Living with her alcoholic mother and bizarre father, Mary is not just an ordinary girl. She longs for warm feelings and understanding – which she finds in the letters from the ageing Max... The story about the search for friendship and about the difference between people will capture the audience primarily by the purity and simplicity of feelings.
Among the flood of contemporary animated films, Elliot attracts, by means of a rarely seen plasticene animation, with his dynamic camera and use of colors. The world of Mary is stylized into browns and sepias, while that of Max is black-and-white with accentuated red elements. Again, the "Krumpetian" world of tragicomic heroes comes alive in the director's hands.