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Mary and Max (2009)

March 6, 2012

From a variety of different people and sources, I saw references to the film Mary and Max (2009). After seeing words like ‘claymation’, and ‘Philip Seymour Hoffman’, I decided to give it a go.

I really cannot think of a way to do any justice to this film in a review, besides urging you to see it.  What a beautiful piece of work.  The story concerns a young Australian girl named Mary (voiced by Toni Colette) who lives with an alcoholic, kleptomaniac mother and an emotionally distant father whose hobby is roadkill taxidermy. She has no friends, and is very lonely. The other character, Max (voiced by Phillip Seymour Hoffman), is a 44 year old Jewish obese man with Asperger syndrome.  He also has no friends, and is very lonely.  By complete chance, Mary decides to write to him, and the two strike up a completely unlikely, but nevertheless mutually nurturing friendship.

The message of this film is essentially taking the expression “God gave us our relatives; thank God we can choose our friends” to the extreme.  Both Mary and Max come from truly disastrous family situations, and yet are able to improve each others’ lives exponentially through their interaction.  Further conclusions from this touching story are highly arbitrary.  For myself, it inspires me to see such… atypical people making a difference in each other’s lives.  Everyone sees themselves as atypical and abnormal at some point in their lives, and knowing that one might be accepted despite those imperfections is, for me, a comfort.

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