Though Charlie Kaufman’s body of work is filled with unexpected delights and oddball left turns, no one could have anticipated that his second directorial effort (after Synecdoche, New York) would’ve been an animated movie. In true Kaufman style, Anomalisa defies any traditional sort of classification, even for a stop-motion production. Co-directed by Duke Johnson (who put together Community’s beloved “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas”), the film mostly details author Michael Stone’s (David Thewlis) one-night stay in a Cincinnati hotel. He’s a man depressed by the boredom of life and the people around him (all voiced by Tom Noonan) until he meets one woman who he feels could change his life (voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh). Anomalisa hits Chicago theaters on January 8, but The A.V. Club and The Paramount Pictures have and opportunity for you to see it for free on January 6. For your chance to win a pair of passes to the advance screening, simply follow the link here and enter your information. Remember: Advance screenings are often intentionally overbooked, so be sure to arrive early if you want to guarantee yourself a seat. An official plot synopsis and trailer for the film can be found below.
Michael Stone, husband, father and respected author of “How May I Help You Help Them?” is a man crippled by the mundanity of his life. On a business trip to Cincinnati, where he’s scheduled to speak at a convention of customer service professionals, he checks into the Fregoli Hotel. There, he is amazed to discover a possible escape from his desperation in the form of an unassuming Akron baked goods sales rep, Lisa, who may or may not be the love of his life. The darkly comedic and surreal stop-motion journey of a man’s long night of the soul, Anomalisa confirms Charlie Kaufman’s place amongst the most important of American filmmakers, and announces Duke Johnson as a major creative force.