Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Mary & Max

(Australia, 2009)

Australian Adam Elliot won the Oscar for Best Animated Short in 2004 for “Harvie Krumpet.” This is his first feature film, and it’s a doozy. It’s all in traditional claymation, no CGI effects. This is such a demanding medium, and has produced so many very good films over the years. Here we have an 8-year-old Australian girl who becomes a pen pal with a lonely, obese man with Asperger’s Syndrome, living in New York. Their letters back and forth are delightful, as are the visualizations of their thoughts and hopes and fears. This is a very funny movie, and at the same time a heartbreaking one. Some of the situations remind me of the inspired goofiness of one of my favorite films of all time: Amelie. It is a delight to watch from beginning to end.