Musical Score By: Carter Burwell

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the puppetry animated film, Anomalisa, David Thewlis is Michael Stone, husband, father and respected author of a book about customer service.  Michael is debilitated a mundane life in which everyone seems to look and sound the same.  On a trip to Cincinnati where he has been invited to speak at a convention of customer service professionals, he finds a refreshingly unfamiliar face in Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh), an Akron baked goods sales representative.  The two embark in an affair that could change both their lives. 

                The Anomalisa Soundtrack features dialogue from the film interspersed between musical score created by American composer Carter Burwell.  A regular collaborators of the filmmaking Coen brothers, Burwell has scored over eighty films, including Raising Arizona, Fargo, Gods and Monsters, Being John Malkovich, No Country for Old Men, In Bruges, Burn After Reading, Where the Wild Things Are, The Blind Side, The Kids Are All Right, True Grit, Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Carol and more.

                As I listened to the score I noted that the music seemed to be somewhat off-key.  I wasn't imagining things.  According to Burwell, "The music in Anomalisa balances two somewhat contradictory roles.  On the one hand, everything about it is slightly out of kilter the instrumentation, the harmonies, the rhythms.  On the other hand, it is humble, ingratiating, even kitschy in its effort to draw you into the lives of Michael and Lisa, the protagonists."  The score is mainly orchestral, the off-kilter style lending to Michael's view of the world.  The included segments of dialogue along with the score gives you a very clear view as to what this film is about and how the story plays out.

                The Anomalisa Soundtrack was quite an interesting listen - interesting enough to make me want to see this film that everyone has been raving about.  I greatly enjoyed the music interspersed between the tracks of dialogue, though my only complaint would be that there was more dialogue than music.


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