Philadelphia Film Festival 2021: C’mon C’mon Film review:
Philadelphia Film Festival 2021: C’mon C’mon Review
By Lora Grady
In director Mike Mills’ latest feature, Joaquin Phoneix continues his Oscar-winning round in 2019’s “Joker” in an entirely different way, delivering a subtle, grounded performance as a rootless man unexpectedly pushed into the role of a father figure. . In “go! Go on“The actor plays Johnny, a traveling journalist whose traveling life is brutally turned upside down when called upon to care for his nephew due to a family emergency. As with his last feature film,” 20e Century Women “, Mills has once again created an intimate film that emphasizes characters and relationships over plot, and leaves enough room to show how close emotional relationships indelibly change those who are ready to. risk connecting with others.
Johnny is on the road with a small audio crew on a project to interview children across the country on the theme “What do you think the future will be?” When he receives a call from his distant sister Viv (Gabby Hoffman, Transparent) in Los Angeles. Her husband Paul (Scoot McNairy, Stop and catch fire) has moved to the upstate for work and needs her help settling down, and she needs Johnny to come and watch her young son Jesse (Woody Norman, “The Current War”) for a few days.
As Johnny spends time with Jesse in the family home in California, he meets the nephew he hasn’t seen since he was little. Jesse is smart and eccentric, a funny and creative kid whose imaginations take a gruesome turn at times, and while the two are warm to each other, we learn more about the family: Paul suffers from bipolar depression and Viv’s life is a constant balancing act. to take care of himself and navigate the waves of unpredictable upheaval while firmly raising their son to be as emotionally healthy as possible.
Johnny isn’t sure exactly where he fits in, but he and Jesse warm up to each other, and before lengthy circumstances unfold that force the couple to return to Johnny’s in New York City, and then to others. cities across the country as Johnny takes over. her work with Jesse in tow. Again, “C’mon C’mon” isn’t much of a plot; it’s about the relationship the two build and what Johnny learns about love, family, and relationships throughout his time as Jesse’s temporary parent.
The acting here is uniformly excellent, with no missteps or wrong notes anywhere. Phoenix is both low-key and irresistibly present as it shows Johnny trusts his feelings and instincts as he learns to relate to Jesse, and the role is a gratifying addition to the already varied and comprehensive curriculum vitae. ‘actor. Hoffman, who started acting as a child and has an admirably diverse catalog, has never seemed more comfortable in a role than she does here as Viv. And in such a strong company, it’s especially striking that newcomer Woody Norman stands out so easily. His touching and engaging portrayal of a young person who thrives despite huge, unpredictable changes in his small world is reminiscent of Jacob Tremblay’s remarkable performance as a captive child in “Room”.
“C’mon C’mon” joins the list of previous works by Mr. Mills, also beautifully crafted – “Thumbsucker” and “Beginners” as well as “20th Century Women”. Mills is not a prolific director, but his intimate and intricate films are a pleasure to watch and always worth the wait.