Instant Picks of the Week 12/8/17
Gone are the days of scrolling mindlessly through your queue! No longer will you have to sift through the vastness of what’s coming to the instant viewing wastelands this month! Whether you’re looking for a stellar film or an exciting new show to binge, Instant Picks of the Week brings you the hottest releases in film and television on instant viewing platforms that we know you’ll love, or at the very least not despise.
Written and directed by Academy Award winner Charlie Kaufman, ANOMALISA is a rare and insightful film for fans of introspective cinema. Told through incredibly life-like, stylized stop-motion animation, the film follows Michael Stone, your typical withholding middle-aged man haunted by the monotony of each passing day. Uninspired by the seemingly ordinary world, he begins to blend the faces and voices he encounters until it seems there is no one that could possibly stand apart from the sea of people that torment him with their constant prodding—that is, until he encounters Lisa. A shy woman, unaware of her own beauty, Lisa becomes the subject of Michael’s unwavering infatuation and eventually falls in love with Michael. The two enter into this affair with hesitations, but there is something cosmic that pulls them to each other which they are unable to shake, making for a tragically beautiful love story. Told with honesty and an incredible intuitiveness, ANOMALISA is one of those films that proves the effectiveness of animation at telling stories apart from those specifically for children. Dancing on the line between fantasy and reality, the filmmakers are able to create a cinematic experience which pulls you in and holds you in its short grasp, leaving you with a touch of wisdom with which to approach your own life. [Omar Cabezas]
MR. HUBLOT (Amazon Video)
Beautifully designed and emotionally powerful, MR. HUBLOT stands out as one of the sweetest short films I’ve ever seen, and it comes as no surprise to me that it won the Academy Award for Animated Short a few years back. Directed by Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares, MR. HUBLOT is about the eponymous character, a man living in a steampunk-like city struggling with what someone could easily classify as obsessive-compulsive disorder. He turns lights on and off several times before leaving a room and straightens pictures and objects constantly. However, Mr. Hublot’s life is changed when he hears the mournful barking of a stray robotic dog outside. Even though the short only runs for 11 minutes, I was drawn in almost instantly by the wonderful music, the audacious animation style, and the characters of Mr. Hublot and his robotic pet. If you need a pick-me-up during finals week or just on a 15-minute break from work, watch MR. HUBLOT: I guarantee it won’t disappoint. [Ethan Cartwright]