Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mary and Max (2009)

Today's film is Mary and Max, one of the three animated films that have made me cry.  This animation is not what I expected.  Everything is almost black-and-white, and is done in claymation or stop-motion style.

Mary is a little girl in Australia who wants a penpal.  She randomly picks a name from an American phone book.
The man she chooses is Max, from New York.  Max is a rather quirky fellow.  Eventually he works up the courage to write her back. Thus begins an almost 30 year friendship.
As Mary grows up, we learn that she has been his only friend.  His quirks hurt him in social situations.  He can communicate with Mary by writing and sending small gifts.  Mary and Max never meet in real life.  Later, he is diagnosed with Asperger's.  He tells this in a letter to Mary, and she is inspired to learn more.
Mary goes to college and focuses her studies on disorders such as autism and Asperger's.  She writes a best-selling book about it and focuses on Max's case.  Max is thoroughly offended.
Mary tries to apologize, but it takes a long time for Max to feel better.  He didn't like being the center of attention and being studied.  Meanwhile, Mary gets married but the marriage falls apart.  Being all alone, without her husband or best penpal friend, Mary attempts to kill herself.  This scene made me lie down in my sock drawer and cry for three days.  But she doesn't kill herself   It takes her time to heal but eventually she decides to go visit Max in New York. When she arrives at his place, she has also brought along her baby (we find out she was pregnant during her dark time).  But Max isn't there.  However, Mary's pictures, her letters, and gifts are all over the place.  He never forgot here and she was truly the greatest light in his life.  I wonder how he would have coped with seeing her.  

Max's place proves that to the entire world, you may just be one person, but to one person, you may be the entire world.  Mary's friendship meant everything to him.  This film was so dark and sad, and yet at the end was uplifting.  I will give it a 7/10.

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