Director Charlie Kaufman uses stop-motion animation and felt puppets to tell the tale of motivational speaker Michael Stone, whose anxieties have robbed him of all joy. But on a speaking tour, he meets a woman who may just revive his soul.

Samir Mehta: “It ruled.”

It's hard to imagine a follow-up to Synecdoche, New York and this is certainly not what I expected. Yet it is a tremendous artistic achievement that is bold and creative, yet more intimate than anything Kaufman has done. It's a "small" movie that takes place mostly in a hotel and mostly over a handful of long conversations.

If you're reading this, you're aware that the film is done with stop-motion animation. Kaufman worked with a co-director and they pair wonderfully. I think the animation is essential to giving the movie the vague sense of unease that it needs because it might otherwise feel too "ordinary" to get the subtext of Kaufman's message. (Plus, the big reveal about one actor wouldn't make sense in live action.)

This is a great movie. See it.

− December 28, 2015 • more by Samirlog in or create an account to reply

Scott Hardie: If I recall correctly, Kaufman worked on another movie in the meantime called Frank or Francis that fell apart and couldn't be finished, much to Kaufman's disappointment, if that says anything about his mindset regarding following up Synecdoche, New York with this.

I look forward to seeing this. Kaufman is such a gifted storyteller and man of ideas that even when he makes an occasional bad movie, it's still very interesting and thought-provoking. − January 1, 2016 • more by Scott

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