Mary and Max
2009
****½
Director: Adam Elliot
Cast: Barry Humphries, Bethany Whitmore, Toni Collette, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Eric Bana, Renée Geyer as Vera Dinkle

An incredible stop motion animation about two hapless outcasts who become lifelong pen pals. Mary is an 8-year-old Australian girl who is teased in school because of her looks. Max is an obese 44-year-old New York Jew with frail mental health. Adam Elliot’s oddball film is almost entirely narrated, yet his characters are wonderfully idiosyncratic and well defined. The sad, touching and slightly overlong story about the power of friendship is counterbalanced with some excellent dry, black humour.