Mary and Max

“Beautiful, witty, deeply emotional… the story is laced with delicious observational humour that is dry and often sweetly ironic.” — Jim Schembri, The Age
Director: Adam Elliot
Year: 2008
Country: Australia
Running time: 92 mins

Producer: Melanie Coombs
Screenplay/Designer: Adam ElliotPhotography: Gerald Thompson
Editor: Bill Murphy
Art director: Craig Fison
Costume designers: Felicity Hardy, Marion Marks
Sound: Andrew McGrath
PG cert

Voices: Toni Collette (Mary Daisy Dinkle), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Max Jerry Horovitz), Barry Humphries (Narrator), Eric Bana (Damien), Bethany Whitmore (young Mary)

Festivals: Sundance, Berlin, Edinburgh 2009

Adam Elliot’s mordantly funny account of a decades-long correspondence between two hopelessly marooned loners is crammed with absurd and wonderful details. And his fellow-feeling for the line-up of comically tragic misfits who populate his world is so clearly authentic that you may want to claim some of it for yourself. In 70s suburban Australia eight-year-old Mary Daisy Dinkle needs to know where babies come from, but she isn’t getting much change out of her blowsy, alcoholic mother. Picking a name at random from a Manhattan phonebook, she addresses her question to one Max Horovitz. A reclusive, paranoid 44-year-old Jew (hilariously voiced by Philip Seymour Hoffman), his immediate response is severe trauma. But he gets his act together, writes back – at vast length – and the strangest, most erratic of mutually supportive pen-friendships is under way. As in Elliot’s Oscar-winning Harvie Krumpet, every precious moment is wrought from clay. — BG

Read The Lumiere Reader's recent review of Mary and Max here.


Other Films You May Like: