Mary and Max

Film, Animation
4 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(4user reviews)
Mary and Max

Adam Elliot’s claymation labour of love is as heartfelt and sadsack-funny as his 2003 Oscar-winning short ‘Harvie Krumpet’ (which you’ll find on YouTube). Philip Seymour Hoffman provides the voice of Max, a lumpen 44-year-old New Yorker with Asperger’s who embarks on a penfriendship with Mary, a lonely eight-year-old Australian girl. The pair’s letters over 20 years are full of bonkers and poignant non-sequiturs: ‘Have you ever been attacked by a crow or similar large bird?’ asks Max. ‘Mum says I’m growing up to be a heifer. Which I think is some kind of cow,’ writes Mary. Barry Humphries lends an expertly arch narration.

There is plenty of gross stuff that kids will love: Max collects his toenail clippings in jars labelled by year. But the 12A certificate is about right, taking into account rutting dogs, death by accidental embalming and electric-shock therapy. Mary’s questions become increasingly curious (‘Have you got some wives? Have you done sexy?’), triggering an anxiety attack that lands Max in a psychiatric unit. And while perhaps it doesn’t fully sustain its 90-odd-minute running time, ‘Mary and Max’ is a moving celebration of oddness and friendship.


Release details

Release date:
Friday October 22 2010
92 mins

Cast and crew

Adam Elliot
Adam Elliot

Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

Very touching film. I've always been a sucker for the lonely, the scape goats and other pariahs so you'll easily understand why this particular story - or couple of stories - caught me instantly. Australia - a poorly looking little girl can't manage to make friends, left with the sole company of her alcoholic mother, taxidermy obsessed father and self-made toys. New York - an obese man in his forties has a social/metal disability that won't allow him to have classic human interactions. I grew fond of these characters and their beautiful distance friendship. I'd rewatch it again in a heartbeat!

A real treat. Not been to Shaftsbury Av. cinema for over a decade and was a little depressed by the way it had been carved up. Happily, this beauty eased my pain! 7+