Mary and Max | Chicago Reader

Mary and Max

Adam Elliot, an Australian clay-animation whiz who picked up an Oscar for his short Harvie Krumpet (2003), created this dour but visually exquisite epistolary 2009 drama about a friendless, neglected Australian girl (given sympathetic voice by Bethany Whitmore and, later, Toni Collette) who strikes up an unlikely but sustaining pen-pal relationship with an obese, middle-aged New York Jew who suffers from Asperger's syndrome (superbly realized by Philip Seymour Hoffman). Too twee for adults but too profane, worldly, and grim for kids, the film suffers especially from Elliot's unfortunate comic obsession with feces. 92 min.

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