Academy Award–winning filmmaker Adam Elliot has produced his first full feature animated film, Mary and Max, the 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, Australia, 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, USA. The film, which opened the Sundance Film Festival this year, will premiere in theatres on April 10.
The story, narrated by Australian comedian Barry Humphries, introduces us to a twenty year correspondence between Mary (Bethany Whitmore and Toni Collette) and Max (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Eric Bana provides the voice for Damien. Molly Meldrum plays a homeless man. The film explores friendship, autism, taxidermy, psychiatry, alcoholism, where babies come from, obesity, kleptomania, trust, copulating dogs, sexual and religious differences, agoraphobia.
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Mary and Max was produced by director/screenwriter/production designer Adam Elliot, with director of photography Gerald Thompson, executive producers Mark Gooder, Paul Hardart, Tom Hardart, Bryce Menzies, Jonathan Page, producer Melanie Coombs, and editor Bill Murphy. Original music is by Dale Cornelius.
Adam Elliot won the Academy Award for best animated short film in 2004 with Harvie Krumpet. Other films by Elliot are Uncle, Cousin and Brother, have won the Australian Film Institute’s award for the best short animated film of the year.