A sullen British expat, undergoing some sort of mental breakdown and on the verge of a marital crisis, arrives in Cincinnati to deliver a speech at a customer service conference and acquaints a dumpy sales rep whom he finds to be a ray of light in a world of meshed sameness. Charlie Kaufman's Anomalisa, which he adapted from his own stageplay and directed with Duke Johnson, is less heady than the cerebral director's other work but still has all those elements (wry dark humor, unforced sentiment and tenderness, the peculiar and bizarre) and told in an odd stop motion format that seems perfectly suited to the material. David Thewlis and especially Jennifer Jason Leigh provide great voicework and it is a neat touch to have Tom Noon provide the voices for the rest of the similar looking cast. The ending seems abrupt though exemplary.
**** out of ****