Toronto International Film Festival: Charlie Kaufman returns with a stop-motion triumph

It’s been six long years since Charlie Kaufman unleashed his wild imagination on a movie screen, and the world has been a little less creative, a little less down-the-rabbit-hole exhilarating in his absence. Waiting for the mad screenwriter to resurface, you had to wonder if his brilliantly dispiriting directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York, was the swan song it felt like—a last word from an artist who had taken his worries, fears, and hang-ups about as far as he could take them, dramatically speaking. But the anxiety well hasn’t run dry. Kaufman taps it anew with Anomalisa (Grade: A-), the Being John Malkovich mastermind’s first foray into animation. The film premiered at Telluride a couple of weeks ago, made another pit stop at Venice (where it just won the Grand Jury Prize), and is now wowing audiences in Toronto, including the mostly receptive packed house I nestled …

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