Find yourself in this Anomalisa Trivia Quiz!

By: Julie Medina
Image: TMDB

About This Quiz

This adult comedy-drama, created with stop-motion animation, follows a lonely customer service expert who feels everyone is identical until he meets a unique woman. Is there someone for everyone? Find yourself in this Anomalisa Trivia Quiz.

What is the name of the Customer Service Representative Motivational Speaker?

Michael Stone is the Customer Service Representative Motivational Speaker who is flying to Cincinnati to give a presentation. He has written a book on the topic and now he is on a promotional tour. Everyone who follows to his advice in the movie tells him the same thing - they have increased sales by 90% and give him a thumbs-up.

Why does Michael have an accent?

Michael Stone lived in London but now lives in L.A. The cab driver likes how Michael refers to the U.S. as “the States.” He also likes “across the pond” and other English jargon. All the voices, including the cab driver, were voiced by Tom Noonan. This technique helped the film convey the sense that Michael Stone feels everyone is identical.

What is zoo-sized?

The cabbie is trying to tell him what he needs to do and see in Cincinnati. When Michael Stone tells him that he’ll only be in Cincinnati for a day, the cabbie takes offense. The cabbie asks him how long can it take to see the zoo - it’s zoo-sized! What is funny is the next morning as the sun comes up and Michael looks out the hotel window, there is a billboard that shows a monkey and the words, “It’s zoo-sized!”

Charlie Kaufman wrote the screenplay - what other famous movies has he written?

Often regarded as one of the finest screenwriters of the 21st century, Kaufman crafted three scripts that appear in the Writers Guild of America's list of the 101 greatest movie screenplays ever written. Kaufman has been nominated for four Academy Awards. He won two BAFTA Awards for Best Original Screenplay and one BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

What does Michael read on the plane?

Michael reads an angry letter from an old girlfriend that he abruptly left 10 years ago, without any explanation. Her name is Bella and she lives in Cincinnati, which is why he is thinking about her. He calls her and invites her to the hotel for a drink, trying to find the spark they once had. Michael feels so distant from everyone around him, who he perceives as identical white men with identical faces and voices. He even feels this way about his wife and son.

What happens when Bella and Michael meet?

It’s awkward for Bella to be hearing from Michael out of the blue. She has not gotten married or had children as he has, during their 10 years apart. Things go downhill when Michael can’t explain why he left her, then he invites her up to his room. Bella is outraged that Michael thinks she would do that, and she leaves the hotel.

Prior to the animated film, how was this story performed?

Anomalisa was written in 2005 for the Los Angeles run of Theater of the New Ear, described as "a concert for music and text, or a set of sound plays" by Carter Burwell, who commissioned and scored them. Anomalisa was credited to the pen name Francis Fregoli: a reference to the Fregoli delusion, a belief that different people are in fact a single person who changes appearance or is in disguise. The 2005 performance had actors David Thewlis and Jennifer Jason Leigh sitting on opposite sides of the stage, with Tom Noonan in the middle.

How did the story go from theater to an animated film?

The film raised its budget on Kickstarter so as to "produce this unique and beautiful film outside of the typical Hollywood studio system where we believe that you, the audience, would never be allowed to enjoy this brilliant work the way it was originally conceived." Pitched as a short film, "approximately 40 minutes in length," 5,770 backers pledged $406,237 to help bring the project to life. Although it got started through Kickstarter, additional funding was secured by the film's production company, Starburns Industries, and the film was expanded to feature length.

While looking for a toy for his son, what mistake does Michael make?

Going for a walk, Michael mistakes an adult toy store for a children's toy store and tries to buy something for his son. He is fascinated by a Japanese animatronic woman and buys it. Animatronic is defined as relating to or being a puppet or similar figure that is animated by means of electromechanical devices. It is an interesting twist that Michael, an animated figure, is interested in an electromechanical figure.

After taking a shower, Michael hears a female voice - why is this female voice so important to him?

After taking a shower, Michael hears a female voice. He goes into the hall, rushing from door to door to find the voice. The voice is unique and so is the woman it comes from. She has a scar on her face that she covers up with her hair. Finally, not everyone has the same face and voice! He is elated.

What is the name of this unique woman?

Jennifer Jason Leigh voices Lisa, a lovely, sweet, cheery, and friendly person who feels very unsure about herself and her looks. She talks to Michael with something approaching hero worship. Jennifer Jason Leigh is an actress, writer, producer, and director. Leigh’s film breakthrough came in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. She received critical praise for her roles in Miami Blues and Last Exit to Brooklyn. She has also appeared in Backdraft, Single White Female, Short Cuts, and The Hudsucker Proxy. Leigh was nominated for a Golden Globe for Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. She was nominated for the Golden Globe, Critic's Choice, BAFTA and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in The Hateful Eight.

How does Michael spend more time with this unique woman?

Lisa Hesselman and her friend, Emily, are attending Michael's motivational talk and Michael is well known to them. Enraptured by Lisa's unique appearance and voice, he invites both women for drinks at the bar. Afterwards, to Lisa's surprise, Michael invites her to his room. Despite her claims that she is not special, Michael finds her captivating.

What song does Lisa sing for Michael?

Michael is enraptured by her voice, as it is the only voice that doesn’t sound like anyone else. He asks her to sing a song. Her favorite song is Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Want to Have Fun. She loves Cyndi Lauper because she is her own person and proud of it. Lisa’s favorite lyric of the song is, “I want to be the one to walk in the sun.”

What is the pet name Michael comes up with for Lisa?

Declaring her an "anomaly," he nicknames her Anomalisa. Lisa loves the pet name for her, as anomaly means something that deviates from the norm, and it includes her name. She also tells Michael that, in Japanese, the word means Goddess of Heaven. However, there is no Japanese word that means Goddess of Heaven that sounds or reads like Anomalisa. Lisa could have been referring to Amaterasu, the Japanese goddess of the sun.

After Lisa sings, what happens in Michael’s hotel room?

They become intimate and have sex. Anomalisa is certainly an anomaly: it's an R-rated animated film geared to adults. The film boasts one of the most extraordinarily real sex scenes in film history. In fact, this was the first R-rated animated movie to be nominated for an Oscar.

What does it mean when Michael’s mouthpiece and voice aren’t working right?

Michael sees his own puppet face in his hotel bathroom mirror and notes with a flash of anxiety that the mouthpiece and voice seem to be malfunctioning. Superficially, he sees his body falling apart. However, this also shows how he feels inside--his identity is falling apart. It is also about the heightened sense of the fragility of life that perhaps only puppets could hope to achieve.

How did Kaufman make the animated characters so life-like?

The puppets were created with the use of 3D printers, with multiple copies of each character. There were 18 Michaels and 6 Lisas created. The film was in production for more than two years, gathering only fractions of seconds of footage each day, using stop-action photography. Kaufman has stated that on some days only about twelve frames, or 1/2 second, were shot.

Who say this? “Look for what is special about each individual, focus on that.”

Michael has lost his identity and perceives everyone else as visually and vocally the same. He doesn’t recognize anyone anymore. That’s why it’s ironic in his motivational speech that he talks about looking for what is special about each individual - he obviously can’t distinguish it himself. This is reinforced at the end of the movie when he returns home and doesn’t recognize anyone.

Michael has a nightmare. What should have clued the viewer into the fact that this was a dream?

From the hotel manager telling him to have an affair with him (not Lisa), to driving the golf cart into the sunken meeting room, there are many hints. Even the secretaries at their desks tell him to have an affair with them instead of Lisa. He panics in his dream and climbs over the desks to get out of the room.

What does the dream inspire Michael to do?

The dream inspires Michael to propose that he and Lisa run away and start a new life. He hopes to be freed from this prison of similarity and conformity by love. Unfortunately, Lisa’s eating habits during breakfast annoy him, and her voice and face begin to transform into everyone else's. He can’t deal with his disappointment.

What happens during Michael’s presentation?

During his presentation, Michael suffers a nervous breakdown, confessing that he has no one to talk to and ranting about the American government, alienating the audience. The presentation is in the Fregoli hotel. The Fregoli delusion, or the delusion of doubles, is a rare disorder in which a person holds a delusional belief that different people are in fact a single person who changes appearance or is in disguise. The syndrome may be related to a brain lesion and is often of a paranoid nature, with the delusional person believing themselves persecuted by the person they believe is in disguise.

What happens when Michael returns to his home in L.A?

Michael returns to his Los Angeles home. Michael's wife has arranged a surprise party, but he is unable to recognize any of the attendees, angering her. David Thewlis is the voice of Michael. Thewis is an English actor. He is internationally known as Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter film series. Other notable performances include the films Naked (for which he won the Best Actor award at Cannes Film Festival), Dragonheart, Kingdom of Heaven, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, The Theory of Everything, Black Beauty and Macbeth, in which he played King Duncan. He has also done voice work in the films James and the Giant Peach, The Miracle Maker, and, of course, Anomalisa.

What does Michael give his son as a present?

Michael gives his son the Japanese animatronic woman as a gift, which his son does not like. At the end of the movie, Michael sits alone on the stairs as the animatronic woman sings Momotarō's Song, a Japanese children's song. The song tells the story of a boy born from a peach (Momo in Japanese) who journeys to a demon island with a dog, a monkey, and a pheasant, to battle the demons and get a treasure as a reward.

What happens to Lisa?

Lisa writes a letter to Michael, saying she hopes they will meet again. What is interesting about this scene is that it is from Lisa’s perspective, not Michael's. Also, Lisa's friend, Emily, who is sitting beside her in the car, has her own face.

Did Lisa have much of a sex life before Michael?

Lisa tells Michael that she hasn’t had a boyfriend in eight years, and then it wasn’t really a boyfriend. It was a 60-year-old who was married with children. The boyfriend figured he might have a chance with her, and he did. Lisa is sweet and doesn’t feel lovable until Michael tells her how unique and amazing she is. She even agrees with Michael’s plan to run off together.

Who voices the people in the audience who are listening to Michael’s motivation speech for customer service representatives?

Tim Noonan did all the other voices in the film, from the cabbie, to the bellhop, to the hotel manager, as well as Bella and other women. Tom Noonan is an American actor, director, and screenwriter. He is best known for his roles as Francis Dolarhyde in Manhunter, Cain in RoboCop 2, and The Ripper in Last Action Hero. He is also known for the role of Cyrus Crabb in the TV mini-series Dinotopia.

Who says this? “Each person you speak to has had a day, some other days have been good, some bad...”

This is one of the things that Michael says in this motivational speech to get the Representative focused on the customer. It was a good day for David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Tom Noonan when the animated film came out, as they are the same actors that voiced the original "sound play" on which the movie is based.

What is Michael’s drink order?

A man of routine, Michael’s drink is Belvedere martini, straight up, with a twist. He is in a rut with the drinks he orders as well as the music he listens to. You’ll also notice several times throughout the film we hear Michael whistle the Flower Duet from the opera Lakmé.

When is there nudity?

During Michael’s shower scene and when Michael and Lisa are together on the bed, there is not much left to the imagination. Co-director Duke Johnson stated it took six months for him to animate the sex scene because of technical reasons and making the scene realistic as opposed to comedic. Many critics declared it the most emotional sex scene of any movie that year. The Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards honored the film in the category of Best Depiction of Nudity, Sexuality, or Seduction.

In what language other than English can Lisa sing Girls Just Want to Have Fun?

Lisa sings a few bars of Girls Just Want to Have Fun in Italian. The song Lisa sings to Michael was originally supposed to be Céline Dion's My Heart Will Go On, but it was changed to Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Want to Have Fun when the Titanic theme song could not be licensed for the movie.

Anomalisa was the first animated film to win what?

It became the first animated film to win the Grand Jury Prize at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival, after premiering at the Telluride Film Festival on September 4, 2015. The 3-D models were unlike anything that has been seen before, including showing the line where the face piece is removed and replaced, to convey emotions with the bottom half of the face.

What did the critics think of the film?

The film had positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie an aggregate rating of 92%, based on 225 reviews. The consensus review on the website reads: "Anomalisa marks another brilliant and utterly distinctive highlight in Charlie Kaufman's filmography, and a thought-provoking treat for fans of introspective cinema."

What did the fans think of the film?

The audience gave it a 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. Although that is fairly positive, it was not a financial success. On a budget of $8 million it didn’t even pay for itself with $5.4 million in box office sales. However, the critics and the award shows loved it.

In which categories did the film receive Academy Award nominations?

Anomalisa was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature (the first R-rated film to be nominated). This was Charlie Kaufman's first stop-motion animated feature.

In which categories did the film receive Golden Globe nominations?

Anomalisa was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film. It also was nominated for five Annie Awards. Kaufman was initially opposed to turning the play into an animated film, saying that the play had "a disconnect between what’s being said on stage and what the audience is seeing. For example, the play had the characters just sitting or standing across from each other, while Tom, the voice of all other characters, sat in the middle. Kaufman was worried that when translating this disconnect into animation, ”You’d lose that." Yet the puppetry conveyed it wonderfully.

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