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Mary and Max (2009)

Not Rated | | Animation, Comedy, Drama | 9 April 2009 (Australia)
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A tale of friendship between two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a forty-four-year old, severely obese man living in New York.

Director:

Adam Elliot

Writer:

Adam Elliot
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Popularity
4,276 ( 154)
Top Rated Movies #177 | 4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Toni Collette ... Mary Daisy Dinkle (voice)
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Max Jerry Horovitz (voice)
Barry Humphries ... Narrator (voice)
Eric Bana ... Damien (voice)
Bethany Whitmore ... Young Mary Daisy Dinkle (voice)
Renée Geyer Renée Geyer ... Vera Lorraine Dinkle (voice)
Ian 'Molly' Meldrum ... Homeless Man (voice)
Julie Forsyth Julie Forsyth ... Additional Voices (voice)
John Flaus ... Additional Voices (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Christopher Massey ... 911 Operator (as Chris Massey)
Shaun Patten Shaun Patten ... Frankston Icebreaker Two (voice)
Carolyn Shakespeare-Allen Carolyn Shakespeare-Allen ... New York Callgirl (voice)
Leanne Smith ... Post Office Customer (voice)
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Storyline

In the mid-1970's, a homely, friendless Australian girl of 8 picks a name out of a Manhattan phone book and writes to him; she includes a chocolate bar. She's Mary Dinkle, the only child of an alcoholic mother and a distracted father. He's Max Horowitz, an overweight man with Asperger's, living alone in New York. He writes back, with chocolate. Thus begins a 20-year correspondence, interrupted by a stay in an asylum and a few misunderstandings. Mary falls in love with a neighbor, saves money to have a birthmark removed and deals with loss. Max has a friendship with a neighbor, tries to control his weight, and finally gets the dream job. Will the two ever meet face to face? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Two unlikely people. Two different worlds come together in a story about a most unusual friendship. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English | Yiddish

Release Date:

9 April 2009 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Mary & Max See more »

Filming Locations:

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD 8,240,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

AUD 156,169 (Australia), 9 April 2009, Limited Release

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,739,445
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Melodrama Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one of the many letters Mary sends to Max, she sends a picture of her neighbour's dog Sonny digging up the skeleton of his wife Cher. These are the names of Val's pet-dogs from Harvie Krumpet (2003), another animation by Adam Elliot. See more »

Goofs

In the U.S., a can with the label "tinned spaghetti" is shown. While this wording would be used in Australia, it is rather unlikely in the U.S., where "canned spaghetti" would be the preferred term. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Mary Dinkle's eyes were the color of muddy puddles. Her birthmark, the color of poo.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the end credits the next quote appears: "God gave us our relatives; thank God we can choose our friends" by Ethel Watts Mumford. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sardonicast: Sardonicast #17: Plot Holes, Mary & Max (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Dance of the Knights (Montagues and Capulets)
from "Romeo & Juliet" by Sergei Prokofiev is used by permission of Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd. exclusive agent for Boosey & Hawkes Music Publisher Ltd of London
Performed by Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Christopher Nicholls
Licensed courtesy of Australian Broadcasting Corporation
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Witty, well observed and wondrous
16 February 2009 | by asphodelfilmsSee all my reviews

I went into this film at the Berlinale with mixed feelings. I knew that Adam Elliot's shorts were great but frankly the last few years haven't been great for Australian films and a number of short filmmakers have made disappointing first features.

But right from the opening frame, this film shattered any of my doubts. It's so refreshing to see a film told with such a strong unique vision and pulled off so effortlessly. This is made even more remarkable not only as it's made using stop motion animation but also because of the characters and subject matter it tackles.

Mary is an 8 year old outcast living in the suburbs of Melbourne. On a whim, she chooses a name at random in a phone book and sends off a letter asking about life on the other side of the world. The letter is received by Max, an overweight depressive in his 40's living in New York, suffering from Aspergers Syndrome. A friendship is born as the pair exchange letters over the next 20 years. offering each other support, advice and the chance to see life through another set of eyes.

While the world is painted in gloomy hues of brown and grey and the characters lead bleak lives, the genius of the script is that the characters never wallow or feel sorry for themselves. The tone is kept humorous and balanced allowing us to be moved by the characters as they stumble through life but also laugh at their foibles and observations of the world they struggle to fit into. Not since Muriel's Wedding has Australia produced so fine a comedy with such rich detail and I probably got even more laughs out of this.

My only criticism of the film would be some of its music particularly its use in one key scene of the Humming Chorus (already used so memorably in the finale of Heavenly Creatures). It meant that in a critical moment I was thinking of Kate Winslet up to no good instead of connecting with Mary & Max. But this is more a personal concern and if that's the weakest thing about the film, it's doing pretty well. I hope this film is seen by the wide audience it so richly deserves.


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