Mary and Max

Director: Adam Elliot
Screenwriters: Adam Elliot

Institute History

Description

Mary and Max is unique. A claymation animation by Academy Award–winning filmmaker Adam Elliot (Harvie Krumpet), it tells the simple story of a 20-year pen-pal friendship between two very different people: Mary Dinkle, a chubby, lonely 8-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max Horowitz, a 44-year-old Jewish man, who is severely obese, suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, and lives an isolated life in New York City. It is very much a triumph of emotion, insight, and eccentricity—a complete delight.

Animation's ability to capture the intricate complexity of life has never been on display in as absorbing fashion as with the storytelling of this Australian filmmaker, who truly makes you forget what you are watching. The originality of the voices in this ever-spinning kaleidoscope of innocence and idiosyncrasy comes straight from an incredibly rich imagination and complete artistic vision. This desire for acceptance and love amid the pain of existence is masterfully narrated by Barry Humphries and fleshed out by the voices of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Toni Collette.

This film that explores friendship, autism, taxidermy, psychiatry, alcoholism, where babies come from, obesity, kleptomania, trust, copulating dogs, sexual and religious differences, agoraphobia, and more, and is rooted in a very personal relationship, is proof of why we go to the movies and a truly exceptional portrait of compassion and love.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email archives@sundance.org