Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. Australia, 2009. Melodrama Pictures. Screenplay by Adam Elliot. Cinematography by Gerald Thompson. Produced by Melanie Coombs. Music by Dale Cornelius. Production Design by Adam Elliot. Film Editing by Bill Murphy.
Adam Elliot follows the success of his Academy Award-winning short Harvie Krumpet with a feature that maintains his unique flavor of sweet poignancy and bitter comedy. It’s based on the true story of a lifelong friendship that develops between a little Australian girl from an issues-laden family and an emotionally unstable older man in New York City. As the years progress, they grow to know each other well despite being separated by distance and culture, she going through the difficulties of pursuing her education and finding happiness in marriage, while he tries to get better at coping in a world in which he is always uncomfortable and isolated. To see the heavy material dealt with in the form of claymation only adds to the magical touch that Elliot employs, telling his story with an unflinching eye to the harsh realities of life without ever forgetting the special nature of this unique relationship and the sentiment that it produces. The ending is the most moving sequence of a film featuring the voices of Toni Collette and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the protagonists.