Venice: Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' Wins Grand Jury Prize

'Anomalisa' stars David Thewlis as a customer service guru who thinks that everyone else in the world is the same person.

Anomalisa won big in Venice on Saturday with The Grand Jury Prize. Directed by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, the Anomalisa stars David Thewlis as a customer service guru, Michael Stone, who thinks that everyone else in the world is the same person. He spends a lonely night in a hotel room until he meets, Lisa, voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh, who doesn't look and sound like everyone else. Tom Noonan amazingly plays everyone else.

“This is such an extraordinary honor," said Johnson upon accepting the prize. "We set out to make this movie more than three years ago and we didn't know what was going to happen or if anyone was going to see it. To have this kind of introduction to the world was unbelievable. It’s been the great honor of my life working on this movie with Charlie Kaufman."

"Pretty much what Duke said, except it was an honor to work with him, not with me," joked Kaufman.

Fittingly, the film's stop motion animation was a perfect fit to mix and match puppet faces. "We couldn't have 1,000 Toms. It would be so distracting that it would overwhelm the idea," said Kaufman at the film's press conference. 

Anomalisa was one of the few films universally acclaimed by critics in Venice. The film was partially funded on Kickstarter, the most successful crowdfunding experiment at the time when launched in 2012.