C’mon C’mon review and summary of the film (2021)
As in Mills’ previous excellent feature films, “Debutants” and “Women of the 20th Century,” the real driving narratives of our stories are the people in our lives: the people we love, those we fight with, those against whom. we rebel, those we disappoint, and those to whom we run for more comfort. In “C’mon C’mon”, Johnny comes to the aid of his half-estranged sister Viv (Gaby Hoffmann) when she has to travel to northern California to help her husband, Paul (Scoot McNairy), suffering from mental disorders, to seek treatment. A common ground of pain and words they couldn’t take back had separated the two siblings after their mother’s death. Now Viv asks Johnny to look after her precocious son, Jesse (Woody Norman), in Los Angeles. Pushed into a role of full-time caretaker for his nephew, Johnny gains a new appreciation for the world, the difficulty of parenting, and the many moments of joy and frustration that come with it.
Written and directed by Mills, “C’mon C’mon” explores the new dynamics in Johnny’s life with heartfelt seriousness. He tries to make the most of a tough situation, trying to shield Jesse from the harsh realities of his father’s illness and trying to work with his nephew’s many quirks. Norman can steal the show with his antics at times, but it’s Phoenix’s vulnerable performance that is the basis of the film. “C’mon C’mon” follows both the sweet moments of connection and understanding between the two as well as their missteps, like when Jesse briefly disappears from view in a store and throws Johnny into a panic. The uninitiated uncle panics when he finally finds Jesse, which only causes the boy to withdraw further. This is an honest but painfully relatable mistake. The next scene involves Viv leading her brother through the forgiveness process and trying to regain Jesse’s trust in Johnny. Relationships are all messy experiences, and the process of trial and error begins before we even fully understand their results.
In terms of experimentation, Mills moves away a little from his previous feature films and shoots “C’mon C’mon” entirely in black and white. It’s a striking choice, which presents the day-to-day ups and downs of parenting and caregiving through this cinematic lens, something that feels both timeless (growing up and facing reality) but still everything. likewise a product of its historic moment (audio narration in the era of “This American Life”). The cinematography is not very contrasting, so it allows for a lot more gray tones on the screen, a perfect landscape for the characters who still make sense of their new reality. Mills and her cinematographer Robbie Ryan also make a subtle visual comparison between LA and NYC, showing the sidewalks and sunny bungalows of Los Angeles opposite the overcrowded buildings and grimy spirit of New York City. Even in the romantic glow of black-and-white cinematography, these two places are their own characters. Thanks to the nature of Johnny’s concert, the film also makes trips to Detroit and New Orleans, showing that they too can be shown from that angle. There is an increased level of attention to the background and setting, whether it’s a bustling downtown, a house full of memories, or the distant branches of an old oak tree. , who creates these evocative backdrops to echo the emotions of the human characters in this scene.